Published On: Tue, Jun 26th, 2018

Free Suswam Or Charge Him To Court, Tiv Youths To DSS


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The National President of National Council of Tiv Youths, Chief John Akperashi flanked by other members of the group during the press conference – Free Suswam Or Charge Him To Court, Tiv Youths To DSS

Free Suswam Or Charge Him To Court, Tiv Youths To DSS

From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi

Leaders of the National Council of Tiv Youths have called on the Nigeria’s Directorate of State Security (DSS) to free the immediate past Governor of Benue state, Dr Gabriel Torwua Suswam, who is being held in their custody.

Speaking at an international press conference, today in Makurdi, the National President, National Council of Tiv Youths, Chief John Akperashi condemned the continued detention of former Governor Gabriel Suswam demanded that the DSS free him or charge him to court.

Recall that Hon. Suswam was invited by the DSS to their headquarters in Abuja last Tuesday and has since then been detained by the security agency and have not being charged to court.

Mr Akperashi therefore stated “We demand the DSS to free Gabriel Suswam or charge him to court without any further delay”. He said if the DSS fails to realease him, they will take legal action.

Akperashi who described Suswam’s continuous detention as a clear case of violation of his fundamental human rights as a free citizen of Nigeria entitled to justice under the laws of the country also said “there is more to fear from the fact that this is coming on the heels of series of alarm raised quite recently by notable figures in the country suggesting a possible plot by the government of the day to arrest key opposition leaders and have them put away on trumped up charges as the country approaches the 2019 elections.

“Our fears are further fuelled by what we may term the body language of Government back home in Benue State which is strongly been suspected of having a hand in the arrest and detention of Hon. Suswam.

“We also believe that the Benue State Government has something to hide because of the pressure for the National Council of Tiv Youths, to cancel a planned peaceful protest which was organised to have held today in Makurdi to demand that the DSS release Suswam or charge him to court without any further delay.

The group President also said that despite writing an undertaking to the effect that the planned peaceful protest march would no longer hold, this morning, seven trucks of heavily armed security agents, made up of the DSS, Police, Civil Defence Corps and the Army, descended on his business premises in Makurdi.

The business premise which is on Otukpo Road was the venue earlier designated as take-off point for the planned peaceful but now cancelled march, was locked down by the security operatives.

In place of the planned protest, a press conference, was held and their message and objectives remain same: “the group demanded that the DSS should release Rt. Hon. Gabriel Torwua Suswam from detention or charge him to the Court.

They also implored the Tor Tiv as the Father of Tiv to muster all his power and influence on behalf of the Tiv race to ensure that no harm befalls Suswam as a Tiv son, and that he is released from his unlawful detention by the DSS or charged to court without any further delay.

The group urged Governor Samuel Ortom to have no fear from the agitations of this body in calling for the release of Suswam by the DSS or that they should charge him to court instead of keeping him in perpetual detention without trial.

“We are law-abiding Benue citizens of Tiv extraction desirous of the peace and progress of our land, and our agitations in this regard are genuine, peaceful and being made conscious of the negative impact that Suswam’s continued incarceration will have on Tiv unity and collective strength. We call on the governor, and indeed, all Tiv sons and daughters, of all status, to be mindful that for us to survive as a race, we must stand together in the face of the grave security challenges confronting us as a people presently.

They also called on people of good conscience, within and outside the boundaries of Nigeria to condemn the arrest and continued detention of Suswam and equally demand for his release saying the dangerous trend of arbitrary arrests and incarceration of opposition leaders in the country should not be allowed to continue unchecked.

“We call on the Tiv nation and Nigerians at large to be prepared to stand up and defend their rights and freedoms against all forms of excesses from government, because good governance and a free society will not be given to us as a gift by any leader, but it will be the product of our vigilance and tenacity in resisting tyranny and demanding justice at all times”.

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