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Ahead Parties’ Primaries: DSS launches security checks on presidential aspirants

…begins discreet vetting of criminal records, pending corruption cases, others

Ahead of the presidential primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Department of State Services (DSS), has begun vetting of aspirants seeking the parties’ tickets. Investigation by Saturday Telegraph indicates that the secret service’s vetting centres on past criminal records (if any), membership/sponsorship of terrorism, as well as insurgency.

It was further gathered that the Service is looking at records bordering on economic sabotage, pending corruption cases, as well as separatist agitations. While the PDP has set May 28 and 29 for its presidential primary for the election of a candidate for the 2023 election, the APC has scheduled May 30 and 31 for the same exercise. Highly-placed security and intelligence sources, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said the discreet profiling had become necessary, in view of the position of trust the aspirants are seeking to occupy.

“The DSS is currently vetting, or of you like undertaking very discreet security checks on presidential hopefuls seeking the tickets of APC, PDP, and others contesting the 2023 election,” one of the sources said. Another dependable source, who spoke in similar vein, said: “The vetting process, which is discreet, for obvious reasons, is currently in progress.

“The DSS is, among other things, checking if the hopefuls have criminal records, pending corruption cases. The people who are seeking to hold sensitive and key installations, must be subject ed to these security vetting. “The essence of all of this, is consistency on declared records. To underscore the seriousness of what is happening, I can assure you that the DSS is in liaison with relevant security, intelligence and other agencies, both locally and abroad. The activation of the network, to all intent and purpose, will be continuous.

“Don’t forget that an adverse report on the former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, stalled his confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic. When contacted, a senior official at the Secret Service confirmed the development. He said: “It is not out of place to undertake vetting of aspirants, as the essence is to ensure they are fit and proper persons to be entrusted with responsibilities of sensitive office, and installations.”




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