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18Months in DSS 18ft Underground Cell; Cornelius Ubara’s Ordeal – by Edet Edet



Cornelius Ubara

The case of Cornelius Ubara, a 23yr old boy from Oruk Onam L.G.A. of Akwa Ibom State, who was illegally kidnapped and blindfolded in broad daylight by men of the DSS in Lugbe Area of Abuja, with threats to be killed or handed over to Boko Haram sect. on the 13th of November 2015 over an alleged case of kidnapping Precious Osuji (The landlords daughter), and incarcerated for eighteen months in an 18ft underground dungeon without any trial in a court of competent jurisdiction, is a typical example of human right abuse and breach of fundamental rights. It is the highest level of impunity thriving in a compromised confine of our security agencies and the total neglect of ethics that binds the DSS, which is to protect lives and properties of citizenry.

This recap reveals the excesses of the Directorate of State Security (DSS). It unveils the unabashed mockery our security agencies are being subjected to because of some criminal elements that constitute the agencies. Their compromised alliance with the rich impairs their vision and becloud  a better judgement. It is quite pitiable, that so many innocent people like Cornelius Ubara are still wallowing in the police, DSS and EFCC cells, with no trial to ascertain the veracity of the claims.

It is so saddening, that agencies that are supposed to arrest, investigate and file charges against suspects, have turned their headquarters into the court of law, raping the judiciary of their powers, adjudicating over cases and determining partially who should be kept to die in the cell, who should be left to go and who should be charged to court.

However, I make bold to state unequivocally without any iota of fear of contradictions, having digested the story of Cornelius Ubara, that the DSS is worst than BOKO HARAM SECT. for replicating acts capable of devaluing the already battered lives of Nigerians by the Change promulgators, and I do also submit that the DSS lacks the moral of indicting Ibrahim Magu (Acting Chairman of the EFCC) over corruption charges, because more than corruption is thriving in their confines.

Recounting his ordeal with the Publisher of iReporters after his release, Cornelius Ubara stated thus:

It was on the 13th of November 2015 (a Friday), I had an all-night in my church so I decided to rest all-day so I could have a sleepless night as an instrumentalist. While at home at about 10am, my landlord’s daughter by name Precious Osuji came to my room with a bottle of mountain dew and requested that I help her open it with my opener with claims she couldn’t see theirs. I was surprised because she had never entered my room before, I couldn’t tell her I had no opener, I quickly went into my kitchen and brought out a strong spoon, and used it to open the drink. After opening the drink, i jokingly asked her why she brought only one bottle, if she taught I wouldn’t love to have a drink, before I said Jack Robinson, she veered out of my room and returned with another bottle of mountain dew, since I didn’t mean it, I didn’t want to collect it, she got terribly vexed with an exclamation that I made her go to get the drink, I reluctantly collected the drink, got the remaining sliced of bread in the house and took with the drink, and Precious Osuji zoomed out of my room and I shut the door.

When I finished drinking, I returned the bottle to her and went back inside my room alone. I overheard Precious talking with the father late that morning. I later went out in the afternoon to buy something around my environment, when I came back, i saw Precious sister, she inquired if anyone was in the house, I told her i saw Precious and the father in the morning, I wasn’t aware by this time that Precious was nowhere to be found.

In the evening of that same day (by this time my all night time was drawing close), I had no change for transportation, so I borrowed fifty naira from her mother and fared to the all-night. On my return in the morning, I met the woman precious bought the mountain dew’s from, who sales close to our house, she asked me if I’ve heard that Precious was missing “I startled”, I responded with a question “are you talking about the Precious that bought me mountain dew yesterday? So many taught ran through my head; the drink and the few seconds of interaction became the bone of contention. With a clear mind I left to the house. On reaching the compound, i was welcomed with stern looks from the parent, I wasn’t bothered because we weren’t so close, so I asked if Precious was not still found, they replied no. I then moved into my room.

On the Sunday morning, while preparing to go to church, I heard a knock on my door, on opening, it was the police so I followed them to the police station. When we got there, the police were displeased with the nature of the case and asked why I was arrested in the first place , noting that I had no case to answer– they eventually set me free with a notion that I had no case to answer. Mr. Osuji (Precious father) furthered the case to the State Police Command; I was rearrested and kept through the weekend with two other persons in connected to the case; her mathematics lesson teacher and her employer. I was interrogated and proven innocent and was released. My pastor suggested I park from the compound, he inquired from the Assistant Commissioner if I could park, and he said I can.

I parked my properties to the church due to the fact that I was financially incapable to get a new apartment and moved to stay with a friend, after six months, I received a call from an unknown person that my church “the Redeem church of God” zonal body was organizing an event and all the instrumentalist will have to gather, so I asked which instrument I was to go along with, they said I could go with any of the instrument. Being very good with the trumpet, I took the trumpet and they told me to wait for them at the central parish. I waited for more than an hour before a car pulled over and men in suits came out, I was astonished because I wasn’t well dressed in suit, so I asked them why they didn’t tell me i was to go on corporate, i didn’t know they were to arrest me. They held me, asked me about my girlfriend and I told them I had none, they asked me if I wasn’t the one that had a case in the police station some months ago about a missing girl, I started shouting because I had forgotten about the case. They blindfolded me and threatened that they were going to hand me over to book haram, I didn’t know where I was going to until the veil was removed off my eyes; I then realized I was in the DSS office.

I was interrogated, threatened, beaten up. As at this time, no one knew where i was, so I tricked them that I knew where Precious could be, just to alert people that I was arrested by the DSS, because their plan was to hide the arrest so that no member of my family will know; so I directed them to my pastors house. When we reached my pastor’s house no one was at home; I pleaded with them to wait for the owner of the house. Eventually, my pastor’s wife came back and I now told them that this woman is innocent, that I just wanted someone to be aware that the DSS had me and I was ready to go to their cell.

When we arrived at the DSS office, they told me that i will not see death in this place, but torture and suffering; they started beating me till I fainted and I was allowed like that for a very long time.

In there, there is no division between day and night. I couldn’t identify when it was day and night. I languished in that cell for months with hope that I will one day come out. My case was never documented, meaning I was illegally kidnapped and kept to die by the DSS because I am from a poor home.

On the whole, God saved me. A lot of people are in that dungeon sharing the same fate like me. Their cases are not documented, they are languishing and tortured for doing nothing by an agency that is supposed to uphold sanity and not abet criminality.

I speak because I am pained, but with a thankful heart to God. When they called me out, I taught it was my last day due to threats and the fact that i still had chains in my legs and was blindfolded.




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