Saturday, 5 December 2015

Court orders SSS to reinstate ex-DG, Kayode Are, to Lagos home

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the State Security Service to reinstate its former Director-General, Kayode Are, to his Lagos home,‎ pending the outcome of a suit he filed in November.

In a ruling Thursday, Judge Mohammed Yunusa ordered the SSS to remove all barricades and blockades denying Mr. Are and his family members access to‎ the Ikoyi home.
He adjourned till December 15 for a report of compliance.
Mr. Are had filed a suit before the court on November 13 praying the court to direct the respondents and their agents to reinstate him and his family into the residence.‎

Joined as respondents in the suit are the SSS and its director-general.
On Wednesday, armed SSS operatives stormed Mr. Are’s home ejecting his family and throwing out his properties.
Mr. Are told PREMIUM TIMES the operatives pulled down the doors, chased his family away, without giving them time to remove any belonging.‎
The secret police took the action despite a court injunction served on it a day earlier barring it from forcing Mr. Are out of the Ikoyi residence.‎

‎Allocated for life‎

‎Mr. Are, a retired army Colonel, served as DG of SSS between 1999 and 2007.
As part of the privileges enjoyed by former heads of the agency after their term of office, they are allocated retirement homes in any city of their choice in Nigeria.‎

‎An internal memo addressed to Mr. Are and seen by PREMIUM TIMES showed how the Ikoyi home was allocated to him “for life after which the premises shall revert back to the State Security Service.”
“The Allottee shall pay all taxes, rates, duties, assessments, imposition and outgoings whatsoever now or hereafter payable in respect of the premises,” said the memo dated 15th October, 2010.
“The Allottee shall keep the premises and any additions thereto and the fixtures in good condition and repair.
“The Allottee shall insure the premises against damage‎ by fire in any insurance company and sum approved by the Service.”
The memo further stated that the allottee should allow‎ the SSS or its workmen access to the property at all reasonable time during the tenure of the allocation.
It also said that the allottee should not let any part of the property, or erect any structure‎ without first seeking and obtaining a written consent and approval of the Service.
Contravention of any of the conditions, according to the memo, would entitle the Service the right to withdraw the allocation and take possession of the premises.
“This allocation letter does not transfer title of the premises to the Allottee, but only the right to reside therein in his lifetime, subject to the conditions mentioned above,” the memo added.
‎However, shortly after Lawan Daura, the current DG of the SSS, assumed duties, he wrote to Mr. Are directing him to vacate the property, saying the allocation to him was questionable.
Although he failed to provide details, Mr. Are had told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Daura‎ had long marked him for poor treatment because of the disciplinary measures he took against him (Daura) while he (Are) was his boss in the Service.

‎In a letter dated September 16th, less than three months after Mr. Daura was appointed, the SSS revoked the allocation of the Ikoyi home to Mr. Are.
The letter stated that the earlier allocation to Mr. Are in 2010 was contrary to the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as well as a long standing controversy surrounding the status of the property.
“In light of the above, I am directed to inform you that the allocation has been revoked due to the ongoing re-organization of the Service, affecting it’s personnel and assets. Moreso that the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) conveyed to the Service vide letter SH/COS/92576 dated 3rd January, 2007 has not been vacated.
“In view of the foregoing, you are to give up vacant possession of the property on or before 15th October, 2015.”
One week later, Mr. Are responded to the SSS’ eviction letter, noting that as a former DG, he ough

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