Family of detained bandits’ negotiator, Tukur Mamu, on Friday, said the military accoutrements found by the Department of Security Services in the Desert Herald publisher’s home belongs to his nephew who is an officer of the Nigerian Navy.
DSS had after a raid on Mamu’s Kaduna home and office, claimed that it recovered military accoutrements, different currencies and denominations and other “incriminating materials” from Mamu’s house.
DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, had said Mamu, who is in their custody together with his eldest son, Faisal, and his brother-in-law, Ibrahim Tinja, would be charged to court.
But the family in a statement by the management of Desert Herald, the Kaduna based newspaper owned by Mamu, said “the cooked up and phantom allegations the Department of Security Services (DSS) concocted in its desperation to give the publisher a bad name in order to rope him.”
The statement signed by the newspaper’s Head, Special Operations and Production Manager, Ibrahim Mada, stated that the DSS made blanket statements without bothering to give details despite the critical question of national security which they claimed was the underlying reason for Mamu’s arrest.
“We view this deliberate distortion of facts with the intention of twisting narratives about Tukur Mamu with exception,” it stated.
The statement added, “The department made allusions that military accoutrements and hard currency were found in the home of Tukur Mamu with a view to sway public opinion against the publisher who has made supreme sacrifices towards nixing the raging insecurity in the land.
“The public may wish to know that the military accoutrements found in the home of the publisher belongs to his nephew who is an officer of the Nigerian Navy. Tukur Mamu who played the role of a father, was responsible for the upkeep and school expenses of the nephew till he enrolled in the Nigerian Navy.
“Again in its desperation to smear the name of Mamu, the DSS said it has found huge amount of hard currency without stating how much it found. It is incumbent for the general public to know that the total amount of the hard currency found in Mamu’s house if converted into naira is less that N1.5m, yet the DSS is trying to make the situation look bad by saying huge haul of hard currency was found in his house.
“At this point it is pertinent to ask when does it become a crime for someone to within his income limit have foreign currency in his house? Or is it a crime for one to have a member of his family in the Nigerian Armed Forces?”
“This distortion of information and media trial against Mamu is a pointer to the desperation of the DSS to rope the man at all cost for the sacrifices he is making to ensure an end to the raging insecurity in the land.”