Officials from the Department of State Services (DSS) apprehended individuals affiliated with the State Emergency Management Agency for redirecting relief supplies designated to alleviate the impact of fuel subsidy removal away from citizens.
Some of these suspects were apprehended on Tuesday at a well-known market in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State, where they were selling the diverted items.
Among those taken into custody were personnel from the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA) and their associates. The spokesperson for the secret police, Peter Afunanya, revealed this information to reporters in Abuja. Afunanya also stated that some of the misappropriated items were recovered from the individuals.
Afunanya urged the public to report any information related to this emerging pattern to the appropriate security authorities, assuring that those responsible would face legal consequences.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) has received reports from some State Governments relating to diversion or sale of palliatives meant for their citizens.
“Consequently, the Service undertook investigations in that regard and has recovered some of the items as well as apprehended the suspects,” the DSS spokesman noted.
He pointed out that while similar operations were ongoing in other states, the DSS had already intercepted a suspected criminal network in Nasarawa State involved in diverting and selling the relief supplies meant for the vulnerable population.
Recent incidents of warehouses being plundered, suspected to contain government-allocated palliatives, have raised concerns. A few weeks ago, the federal government distributed thousands of bags of rice, a staple food, to all 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory in an effort to mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal, especially on economically disadvantaged citizens.
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