Chaos at National Assembly as DSS operatives brutalize 2 senior staff


Two senior staff of the National Assembly were in the early hours of Friday brutalized by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, for allegedly not properly identifying themselves at the second gate of the Complex.

The staff, Chris Odoh, a Deputy Director, and John Nnadi, of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), ran into trouble with the DSS operatives who have been drafted to man the entire National Assembly Complex, at about 11:45 am, when they were asked to identify themselves at the gate.

The DSS officers claimed that the staff could not properly identify themselves but “just flashed their identity card at the gate”.

The operatives, thereafter, forcefully blocked the staff when they attempted to proceed to their offices at the White House, a section of the National Assembly Complex.

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In the ensuing altercation, the National Assembly staff were assaulted by the security operatives, while other workers watched helplessly.

Efforts made by passersby to resolve the situation angered the DSS operatives, who after being joined by four of their colleagues, started rough handling the staff and any other person that tried to broker peace.

The operatives dragged the two staff from the linking point, which is about 125 metres in distance.

The incident attracted the sympathy of staff of the Unity Bank, United Bank for Africa, UBA, Senate Committee on Public Accounts and journalists in the Senate Press Centre, whose offices were in the area.

Miffed by the embarrassing scene, staff of the National Assembly from various offices at the White House, including the Mace Bearer in the Senate, spontaneously gathered at the front of the DSS office to demand the immediate release of the two staff.

It took the intervention of the Divisional Police Officer of the National Assembly, Alex Annagu, and the Deputy Clerk of the Senate, Legislative, Mrs Ilobah Isabella, who calmed frayed nerves as they appealed to the irate workers to go back to their offices.

Amidst the crisis, John Nnadi stormed out of the DSS office located underground and started shouting solidarity songs and was immediately joined by other workers who were still hanging around to see the outcome of the confusion.

Chanting ‘We no go gree o, we no go gree’, the irate staff marched to the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly to register their grievance, but he was yet to arrive before they were dispersed by the DPO, who appealed to them for calm.

In the past two weeks, the National Assembly management has replaced its official security arm, Sergeant-at-Arms, who are familiar with staff and the legislative aides and other personnel, with DSS operatives who are daily having altercations with those accessing the Complex.

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