21 people have been confirmed dead after the Department of State Security foiled a jail break attempt by a suspect at its detention facility in Abuja on Sunday morning 30th of March 2014, as heavy shootings were recorded at the headquarters of the State Security Service.
|The area around the Presidential Villa, Abuja during the shootout|
The SSS headquarters, known as Yellow House, is located behind the Villa, which led to the access gate to the Villa through the Fire Service office in Asokoro being quickly shut while more heavily armed soldiers were seen at the gate leading to the nation’s seat of power through the Federal Secretariat, with military helicopters also seen hovering over the area.
According to The PUNCH a source said that trouble started when one of the suspects in the SSS custody, believed to be a Boko Haram member, overpowered an operative who was in his cell to deliver food to him. The suspect was said to have shot the operative with a rifle and went ahead to release his co-suspects.
The incident led to a gun battle between the suspects and the SSS operatives.
A press statement by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Department of State Service, Marilyn Ogar confirmed that the Service Suspect Handler, who went to the detention facility within the Headquarters to feed the suspects, was disarmed and attacked by a suspect at 07:15 hours on Sunday.
“One of the suspects attempted to disarm him by hitting him at the back of his head with his handcuff. His attempt to escape drew the attention of other guards at the facility who fired some shots to warn and deter others.
“The gun shots attracted the attention of the military with whom we have an understanding of mutual assistance in the event of any threat. The Army immediately deployed a team to reinforce our perimeter guards to forestall any external collaborators. The situation has since been brought under control”.
|Soldiers taking positions during the shootout||Soldiers taking positions during the shootout|
Spokesman for the president, Dr Reuben Abati, told Channels Television in a telephone interview that the incident happened within the premises of the SSS headquarters and was quickly contained.
“It is true that this morning there was an incident at the SSS headquarters, known as ‘Yellow House’, but the incident has absolutely nothing to do with the Presidential Villa. But some mischievous persons have gone online to say, claim and promote the lie that President Jonathan is under threat and that the incident had something to do with the Villa but this is absolutely not true.
“I can tell you categorically and to all Nigerians that President Goodluck Jonathan is safe and well. What happened at the SSS headquarters has nothing to do with the president. There was absolutely no threat to the Presidency because whatever happened was contained within the premises of the SSS headquarters,” Dr Abati stressed.
Culled From: ChannelsTV, The Punch
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