Security

The PUNCH journalist, more protesters arrested by DSS at Dunamis Church

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A journalist from The PUNCH Newspapers, Mr Solomon Odeniyi, who was reporting an event at Dunamis Church has been arrested by operatives of the Department of Security Services (DSS).  

Solomon, who works with the Abuja Bureau of the newspaper, was covering a live event when he was whisked away.

He has not been allowed to either pick his calls or contact anyone.

Last Sunday, security operatives at the church allegedly arrested some activists at Dunamis and handed them to the Department of State Services (DSS). 

They were taken, also during church service, for wearing “BuhariMustGo” shirts.

In a report by Sahara Reporters, heavily armed security operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on Sunday harassed members of the civil society group and journalists at Dunamis Church in Abuja. 

The activists at the church today stormed the church to protest against the arrest and continued detention of five activists who were arrested last Sunday at the church for wearing #BuhariMustGo T-shirts. 

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Paul Enenche is the Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel.

However, responding to the situation in a statement, Adah Ochowechi, Dunamis spokesperson last Wednesday said the report that the youths were arrested for wearing the #BuhariMustGo branded T-shirts are false. 

He said the youths came out for an altar call after the sermon and were not questioned about the inscription on their shirts. 

“However, soon after their departure from the altar, they swung into protest with blaring trumpets and saxophones right from the exit door of the church,” he said. 

“At the same time, the event was being covered anti-live-streamed with the background shots of the church building anti those of the thronging crowd, both exiting and entering the sanctuary for the next service. 

“The live streaming had the caption: “BUHARI MUST GO Campaign Hits Dunamis Church in Abuja.” 

“This appears intriguing for many reasons: 

“No one knew who they were or where they came from. 

“No one knew the organization they represented as well as their ultimate agenda until the DSS apprehended them.

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“No standard rule of engagement was followed as they merely sneaked into the church and swung into protest on a holy clay of service. 

“Moreover, the church is not an activism ground, but a centre for tile projection of truth against all forms of evil. 

“The church is non-political and non-partisan and thus, not an appropriate ground for political protests. It is not the seat of government where those being protested against reside. 

“As intriguing as it was to a common onlooker, so was it to members of undercover security forces on the premises for routine duties.” 

Ochowechi further set the record that it was not the church who handed over the protesters to the secret police but that the undercover police were at the church and only acted in their line of duty. 

“Acting in their line of duty, the DSS officials arrested the protesters. For the records, the Senior Pastor, Dr Paul Enenche who was engaged in preaching the sermon in the second service was not privy to the unfolding development, let alone giving the order for their arrest. 

“We wish to state categorically that Dunamis Intl Gospel Centre has no hands in the arrest and detention of the said youths as they were arrested outside the premises of the church. 

“The church has no right to arrest and detain people and has no detention custody. The right of arrest and detention resides with government security agencies.”

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