12th February, 2022
By Babatunde Ogunrinde
The Lagos chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria has said officials of the Directorate of State Services, DSS, invaded its secretariat without obtaining court order or previous summon of officials of the association against standard practice.
Lagos SWAN, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Debo Oshundun, on Saturday, said the DSS operatives stormed its Secretariat in three Hilux vehicles at about 10 a.m. on Friday, with the sole aim of sealing the building.
“But shortly before sealing off the premises, the operatives ensured that a caretaker committee was inaugurated to take charge of the affairs of the association in place of a duly-elected Executive Members inaugurated by NUJ and led by Mr. Debo Oshundun still in office.
“After sealing off of the Lagos SWAN Secretariat inside the National Stadium, the DSS operatives moved to Teslim Balogun Stadium with a towing vehicle to remove the Lagos SWAN bus given to us by Lagos State Government.
“They claimed they were following the instructions of Honor Sirawoo, the factional President of SWAN, who is a current Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“Sirawoo instructed the DSS to bring the bus to Port Harcourt his base. The bus was donated by Lagos State governor to the state chapter of the association.
“It took intervention of the Chairman and the Director- General of the Lagos State Sports Commission to ensure that the bus was not taken away by the DSS officials acting on the instructions of a PS in Rivers State Government.
“On this note, we challenge the DSS to tell the world its role in the affairs of Lagos SWAN who in no way threatens the state security.
“We like to state clearly that there are no court injunctions or summons to the effect of sealing our cherished Secretariat. Such approach reminds one of Baboon Republic back in the days.
“We appeal to the Directorate of State Service to refrain from dabbling into SWAN affairs and to also discharge its activities without favour to any party.
“Sealing the Lagos SWAN Secretariat without recourse to court injunction or summon is ridiculous and it saddens our hearts that a government agency was acting without due process.
While condemning the invasion of the association’s state secretariat by personnel of DSS, the association craved for timely intervention of appropriate authorities to step into the matter before it further degenerates.
“However, we told our members to remain calm and go about their business in the face of the humiliation.
“We are appealing to the NUJ, NGE and other media bodies for timely intervention in order to ensure that the situation does not further degenerate,” the statement read.