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DSS alarm: Group alleges leakage of PEPT’s judgment to Executive



A political action group, the Coalition for the Protection of Democracy, COPDEM, has said that the alarm raised by the Department of State Security, DSS over planned violent protest in the country, has shown that the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, PEPT’s judgment billed to be delivered on Wednesday has been leaked to the Executive.

The group declared at a press conference held on Tuesday in Abuja that the security alarm raised by secret police “is ill-conceived and politically motivated.”

Speaking through its media team representative, Prince Rwang Pam Jnr., COPDEM wondered how could a peaceful protest be suppressed by security agencies despite constitutional provision and international human rights law for protests.

“The alarm raised yesterday, September 4, 2023, by Nigeria’s Spy Police, DSS, over ‘plans by some persons or groups to stage violent protest regarding the long-awaited judgment of the 2023 Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal’, scheduled for Wednesday, September 6, 2023, appears to confirm information leakage and the possibility of a verdict of dismissal based on technicality rather than justice based on constitutional merit.

“By raising this alarm, the security agents appear to confirm having prior knowledge of the verdict yet to be delivered to Nigerians. Plausibly, a member of the Judiciary may have leaked the PEPT panel’s verdict to the Executive arm of the current government of Nigeria.

“In this case, the government along with its internal and external security agents have proven themselves illiterate in the handling of this privileged information by using it to inflict further psychological damage to the psyche of the already broken populace.

“We believe, therefore, that the DSS alarm is ill-conceived and politically motivated, thereby raising doubts about the integrity and independence of the five Tribunal Justices and the credibility of their long-awaited judgment.

“As the international community is aware, the social contract theory underscores the undisputed facts that government exists for the people and derives its authority from the people to act on their behalf primarily for their security and wellbeing.

“Nigerians’ rights to protest are safeguarded under Sections 38, 39, 40, and 41 of the Constitution. ‘It is a fundamental human right of the people to voice out their displeasures, disappointments, and frustrations.’

“In accordance with international standards and best practices as recognized under international law, the international community must hold the current government of Nigeria accountable for the killing or brutalisation of peaceful protesters. Security agencies should not prevent citizens from exercising their right to protest.

“Articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right and the UN Human Rights Council’s Resolution at its 38th Session on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the context of Peaceful Protests are quite apposite,” the group explained.

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