Action Congress of Nigeria has called on the Presidency and the National Assembly to investigate claims by the State Security Service that it had arrested the suspected killers of Olaitan Oyerinde, an aide to Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
In a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it was compelled to make the call following the riddle posed by two pictures carried by a national newspaper on Sunday, which seemed to show that the security agency might be recycling the same suspected criminals for different offences.
It said the three suspects in the first picture, who were paraded by the SSS on March 14 for allegedly kidnapping and murdering Briton Christopher MacManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara, in Sokoto, appeared to be the same as three of the suspects in the second picture, who were recently paraded by the same SSS for allegedly killing Oyerinde.
The statement read, “Three of the suspects paraded by the SSS for killing Oyerinde appear to wear a complete replica of the same shirts worn by the suspects paraded for killing the foreigners in March.
“The pictures published by the newspaper is so compelling that we are forced to ask a number of questions from the SSS. Is the agency recycling suspected criminals and deceiving the people that it is indeed solving criminal cases?
“Does this systemic gimmick go higher than the security agency? For how long has this game been going on? What exactly does the government know about this? And is the PDP privy to this recycling? If not, why was the party so quick to ask the ACN to apologise over the murder of Oyerinde?”
The ACN said the only way the riddle can be resolved is for the government to appoint a panel of respected judicial officers to investigate the SSS, while the National Assembly must conduct a public hearing at which the suspects paraded for killing the foreigners will be placed side by side with those paraded for killing Oyerinde.
It said, “The reason why it is important to get to the root of the whole case is because the role of the SSS is so critical in ensuring peace and security in the country. For example, the Federal Government has relied largely on the agency to curtail the activities of the Islamic sect Boko Haram.
“If the agency has been cooking up stories and briefings to government and recycling criminals, how can it satisfactorily play its role? How can it help in resolving the many high profile murders that have been recorded in the country?”