Nigeria: #EndSARS - Wife Accuses SSS of Abducting Her Husband

27 November 2020

The wife of an #EndSARS campaigner abducted by unidentified men, says she is "certain" operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) abducted her husband.

Omioye Titilayo told PREMIUM TIMES that the men who abducted her husband, Michael Imoleayo, in Abuja on November 13, wore the same outfit as the one worn by SSS operatives.

She attempted to enter the SSS headquarters in the Three Arms Zon on Monday, to get answers from officials there.

In a bid to locate Mr Imoleayo, who has been missing for 13 days, Mrs Titilayo has been "going from one security agency's office to the other."

Although the security officials did not let her into the complex, the concerned wife said: "from afar, I saw the men (SSS operatives) in their full uniform and that brought back the memory of the day they came to take my husband - that is exactly how they were dressed."

She made this claim based on the black uniform and bulletproof vest the men wore, adding that "the ammunition they were carrying was the same thing I saw that very day."

PREMIUM TIMES had previously reported that Mrs Titilayo's home had been invaded at 2:30 a.m. by a large group of armed men, some of whom wore military fatigues, while others wore black outfits with bulletproof vests.

At the time, the family's lawyer, Deji Ajare, said that based on the description of the uniforms, he believed a joint task force of security agencies abducted Mr Imoleayo.

The SSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, was not available to comment as his line was not reachable.

In his continued quest to locate his client, Mr Ajare has sent petitions to the various security agencies.

According to Mr Ajare, the Defence Intelligence Agency has responded to his petition and denied any involvement in the matter.

The National Human Rights Commission also responded to the petition, saying they have "commenced investigations into the complaint" and would keep Mr. Ajare informed.

The SSS has not responded to the petition that was sent to it. The agency has also not denied that it abducted the victim.

The SSS is a specialised security agency whose responsibilities include counter-terrorism, internal security and surveillance, as well as providing security to senior government officials.

The agency is, however, notorious for human rights abuses, including detention without trials and valid court orders.

In August 2019, activist Omoyele Sowore was arrested in the middle of the night by SSS operatives who stormed his Lagos hotel dressed in all black.

Mr Sowore was detained by the SSS for several weeks despite a court order for his release. He was eventually released after national and international rights groups and individuals condemned the Nigerian government and demanded his release.

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