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Armed officials invade opposition data centre and destroy equipment in Lagos

Mon 24 Nov 2014

On Saturday the All Progressive Congress’ (APC) data centre in Lagos, Nigeria was raided by armed state security operatives, the party’s publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, has said.

According to Mohammed, the Department of State Services (DSS) soldiers attacked the party’s data centre destroying hardware and arresting 25 data agents and three security guards in the process.

Mohammed’s statement on Saturday afternoon explained that “a combined team of men of the DSS and OP-MESA stormed the Bola Ajibola Data Center belonging to the APC in the Ikeja area of Lagos […] They came without a search warrant for the premises.

“Over 50 security operatives drafted from Abuja operations blocked the two major street entrances to the APC data entry center, pulled down the gates and spent over two hours ransacking and vandalising the center. More than a dozen computers were destroyed. The server was also vandalised along with other equipment in the building.”

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Sources familiar with the attacks have suggested that the DSS raid was in response to a tip-off that the data centre was being used to clone Voters Cards. Other sources also say that the APC was allegedly storing weapons in the centre.

“They chose to believe the lie that it was a warehouse belonging to one of the national leaders of the party where dangerous weapons were being kept, when in fact it is a centre for entering the data provided by the millions of Nigerians who registered as members of the party (APC) during its membership registration exercise,” Mohammed said in his statement.

The APC called the operation an attempt to suppress the opposition, gathering data of its membership to rig the upcoming 2015 elections. The party added in its statement that the invasion highlighted Nigeria’s unstable democracy.

“Can the government sincerely tell the world it is now ready for free and fair elections in 2015? This is one impunity too many, and we will not allow it to be swept under the carpet,” the party promised.

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