‘DSS alerted Uzodinma, police three times before Imo attacks’
NEWS DIGEST – A former Assistant Director with the Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree, has said the department alerted the Nigeria Police Force and Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, at least three times before Monday attacks in the state.
The former DSS official who spoke on Thursday on Channels Television’s programme monitored by The Punch stated that the police and the governor, who is the chief security of the state, failed to act on the intelligence by the DSS.
The News Digest had earlier reported that gunmen on Monday attacked the Owerri Correctional Centre and freed over 1,800 inmates. The attackers also razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters situated in Owerri and burnt all the vehicles parked at the command headquarters.
Speaking on the television programme, the ex-DSS director said, “There was enough intelligence, enough actionable intelligence. Actionable in the sense that it allows for space for people to execute it; one week ahead of the event and of course 72 hours before the event and then 48 hours before the event.
“So, three times, the Nigeria Police Force was informed by the DSS that this is going to happen because some suspects that are being geolocated around the area were found surveilling the prisons and the police headquarters but you know in our lackadaisical way, when the intelligence came, they threw it by the side and when something happens, everybody runs around.”
Amachree stressed that the Imo State governor was aware that the prison and the police headquarters was about to be attacked.
“All security reports are shared with the governor in a state first, then, it is shared with other sister agencies like the police, the military, if there is military installations there, all of them got this particular report. So, the governor is very much aware,” he said.
The ex-DSS director, however, said, “Apparently nothing was done (to forestall the attacks). You can see that the governor was referring to that particular report that it is not IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra).”
Amachree lamented, “Some people are just too lazy to do their jobs.”
He also faulted claims by the then Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, that members of IPOB masterminded the attacks.
“He (Adamu) doesn’t have his fact right because I don’t see how he can identify them. You identify people by either arresting some of them or from what they say but there was no person that was arrested,” the ex-DSS director said, adding that the DSS was investigating the attacks and would identify who the attackers were.