Breaking: Pandemonium as DSS operatives ‘assault’ top NASS officials

Pandemonium engulfed the White House segment of the National Assembly (NASS) on Friday over brutalisation of two senior staff by personnel from Department of State Services (DSS).

Trouble came the way of the two senior staff of the National Assembly at about 11:45am at the gate linking the Senate new building and white House when they were asked to identify themselves by DSS operatives manning the gate.

Eyewitness accounts , confirmed to Blueprint that the two staff , namely John Nnadi of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) and Chris Odoh, a deputy director, flashed their Identity cards to the DSS operatives but were stopped for not identifying themselves properly.

Being senior staff of NASS, attempts made by them to proceed to the White House segment from the Senate new building , were forcefully blocked by DSS operatives which resulted into rough handling from both ends and outright physical assault from the DSS operatives.

Efforts made by passersby including Blueprint reporter to resolve the crisis, infuriated the DSS operatives who after being joined by four other personnels, descended heavily on the two affected staff by dragging John Nnadi and pushing the deputy director to their office at the White House.

The forceful movement and dragging of John Nnadi and Chris Odoh to DSS office by its operatives from the linking point which is about 125 metres in distance, drew sympathetic attention from staff of the Unity Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), staffers of Senate committee on Public Accounts and Journalists from the Senate Press Centre whose offices were along the way.

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 and threatened fire and brimstone, if the two arrested senior staff, were not released immediately.

In a trouble shooting effort, the DPO in the National Assembly, Alex Annagu and Deputy Clerk to the Senate (Legislative) Mrs Ilobah Isabella, hurriedly rushed to the scene to calm frayed nerves, by appealing to everybody to return to his or her office.

While listening to the appeal from the DPO and Deputy Clerk, one of the brutalized staff, stormed out of the DSS office by shouting that the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Alhaji Sani Magaji Tambawal, must be notified of the injustice and intimidation the DSS operatives subjected him and the Deputy Director to.

His suggestion was spontaneously accepted by the crowd by joining him to march to the office of the CNA, where they chanted, “We no go gree o, we no go gree, to this intimidation by DSS for about 15 minutes before dispersing, since the CNA was not in the office then.

On getting back to the lobby, the DPO, made further appeals to the brutalised staff and others that, peace should be allowed to reign as his office and that of the DSS , were already comparing notes on what happened.

“My appeal to all at this point, particularly Mr John Nnadi, is that, we should all return to our offices while John Nnadi, go to the Clinic for medical check up on any injury that may have been inflicted on him from the alleged physical assault.

“Gathering here and chanting solidarity songs will not right whatever wrongs that might have been committed but going to the Clinic for medical examination and possible establishment of any injury from the alleged assault, will help in establishing a case,” he said.

The assaulted John Nnadi who was later joined by Chris Odoh, thereafter, went to the Clinic, paving the way for the enraged crowd to disperse at about 12:35pm .

DSS authorities were yet to react to the incident as at the time of filling this report.