Suswam, Gana Behind Benue Killings – DSS

Former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam
Former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam

The Department of State Services, DSS, has said that the former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, and a notorious militia leader, Terwase Akwaza, popularly known as ‘Gana’, are behind the several killings that have been recorded in the State recently.

This was contained in an affidavit deposed to by a DSS operative, Abdullahi Adamu, before the federal high court Abuja, in response to the human rights violation suit brought against the Service by Suswam.

The former governor had filed a N10 billion suit against the DSS for allegedly violating his fundamental human rights by holding him in custody illegally for 73 days between February 25 and May 7, 2017.

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Joined as defendants in the suit were the DSS Director General, Lawal Daura, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

However, in the affidavit, the DSS stated that Suswam was arrested and detained after he was found in possession of “three lethal and prohibited weapons” as well as for his “avowed commitment to bring about a state of unrest in Benue State.”

Adamu stated in the affidavit, “That I know as a fact that intelligent report at our disposal is to the effect that he (Suswam) has vowed to make Benue State ungovernable for the present governor of the state (Samuel Ortom).

“That the applicant is said to be affiliated with the militia leader Terwase Akwaza, also known as Gana, who is involved in terrorising the citizens of Benue State.

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“That Benue State has proved to be ungovernable in the past few months, with various crises occurring every now and then.

“That intelligence available to the respondents revealed that the applicant and the militia leader (who is currently at large) are behind the spate of kidnappings and loss of lives in Benue State.

“That I know for a fact that three lethal and prohibited weapons, to wit, a Gluck Pistol, with serial no. KM275; a Mini Uzi, with serial no. 54976; and one (1) AK 47 rifle, with serial no. 56 -22620063, were discovered in the applicant’s Mercedes Benz car at Dunes.

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“That as a result of the above, the applicant was arrested for the possession of ammunition and the avowed commitment to bring about a state of unrest in Benue State.”

The DSS operative further stated in the affidavit that keeping Suswam in custody pending his arraignment in court was “in the best interest of justice and citizens of Benue State.”

Adamu also said that the DSS on February 28, sought and obtained an order from Justice Y Halilu of the FCT high court to remand Suswam for 14 days, at the expiration of which another order was obtained on March 15 extending the period of detention for another 14 days.