Empty Your Cell Of Detained Persons, Your Responsibility Is Intelligence Gathering, Adegboruwa Tells DSS


“The Department of State Services should go back to its statutory responsibility of gathering intelligence. When this organisation was set up, it was called SSS – Secret Security Service.
We did not use to see them; they were supposed to be operating in secret, gathering intelligence for government and other security agencies. It was only the police that we used to see. So, the DSS should go back to its focus; its original mandate of secret intelligence gathering.
Secondly, the DSS, to redeem its image, must empty its cells of all persons who are being detained unconstitutionally and illegally. It should open its cells for visitations by human rights organisations the Nigerian Bar Association, and judges, to be able to know who are being detained and for what purpose.
Also, the DSS should not get involved in prosecution. An intelligence gathering agency cannot turn itself into a prosecutor suddenly. When you see people being charged to court and being prosecuted by the DSS, it is an anathema. That is not the responsibility of that agency. If the DSS has gathered any intelligence, it should submit it to the ICPC, EFCC, the regular police or the attorney general. We cannot get to a situation where the DSS has hijacked the responsibility of the attorney general as specified in Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution. The DSS should veer off prosecution of cases.
Besides, the DSS should not get involved in politics. It is not a political organisation; it is not a wing of the executive that is meant to perpetuate people in office. It is an agency responsible to the people of Nigeria and it should face its responsibility according to law.”
. •Ebun Adegboruwa (Lagos-based lawyer)