Home Opinion DSS: Larger Than Nigeria; Above The Rule Of Law? | Maroof Asundemade

DSS: Larger Than Nigeria; Above The Rule Of Law? | Maroof Asundemade


I was addicted to 24-Hour, a 9-season American intelligence movie which starred the eccentrically intelligent and weirdly deviant actor, Jack Bauer. The movie is about the bloodthirstiness and absolute inhumanity  of terrorists on the soil of America. As dead serious as America was and still is against the bloodsucking terrorists, the country still won’t ever allow her security operatives, either from the US President’s Secret Service or the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) established to tackle fatal menace of terrorism around the world to violate the human rights of the arrested terrorists by way of torture. In his many overzealous actions against arrested terrorists, inflicting untold injuries on them while trying to extract confessions from them, Jack Bauer was sanctioned by the government for going against the rule of non-torturing of the terrorists. He appeared in court once for torturing terrorism suspects against the rule of the land. Despite that terrorism is regarded in America as a crime against humanity, she still sets boundary for her security operatives on how to handle suspects of terrorists’ attacks.

DSS in Nigeria is the equivalent of Secret Service in the US as they are both under the direct purview of the presidents of both countries. But the marked difference in the operations of both security departments is that while US’ Secret Service operates within the ambit of a strong institution, Nigeria’s DSS operates within a porous, weak and toothless institution. The latter is the reason the two ‘helpless’ organs of government, the legislature and the judiciary would continue to suffer reckless attacks from the DSS.
The show of effrontery by the DSS before Justice Ojukwu  yesterday is a sad testimony of the security agency’s ineptitude in terms of intelligence and sophistication of security engagements. If we agreed that Sowore made provocative statements that threatened national security, a serious and intelligent security agency like DSS would gather intelligence on the activities of Sowore with regard to his threat of ‘violent’ revolution to be able to pin foolproof allegations of being a threat to national security against the exuberant gentleman. The DSS-Sowore debacle reveals a whole mess that Nigerian security architectures have enmeshed in. There seems not to be clearcut rules of engagements guiding the operations of our country’s security apparatus. A situation where a security agency would refuse to obey rules of law which created it and for which it was established to uphold is tantamount to a child desecrating the very womb from which he/she was birthed. There is nothing more abominable than that!
Since the news of the desecration of the hallowed court and the heist of Sowore’s rights by the DSS has broken out yesterday, many Nigerians have taken a justified swipe at the presidency, suggesting that the DSS was acting on instructions from above. One thinks the swipe taken at the presidency was justified because, apart from the fact of law which places the DSS under the purview of the presidency, the acts of executive terrorism displayed by the security operatives yesterday should annoy every law-loving and law-abiding Nigerian. One is however of the opinion that the president could be excused from the indiscretions of the overzealous operatives who might have thought that being reckless in the line of duty is a sure way to be seen to be fighting the cause of the country. The respected lawyer and human rights advocate, Olisa Agbakoba gave credible voice to my opinion in the interview he granted on Arise TV early this morning where he echoed that the DSS might have acted without the knowledge of the president as he related same occurrence that happened to him during one of his tormenting years in the hands of the military.
Notwithstanding the opinions held by me and the respected rights advocate, one can still conclude that the president has some blame in the remote but not in the immediate cause of the DSS’ impunity, especially to the other equally important organs of government. The remote cause of the DSS’ impunity that the president must be blamed for is the weak institution under which the security agency operates. DSS did not start its reckless engagements today. Such predates the present government and one thinks that the president ought to have embarked on the strengthening of institutions under his purview so that the country could be saved the national embarrassment to which the DSS and other agencies are subjecting the country. No personnel can subvert strong institutions but weak institutions can be subverted by their personnel!
To the DSS, here’s telling their operatives that they can’t be selective in their reckless engagements. The legislature has tasted the soursop of their brawny but not brainy attacks on several instances. The judiciary has had its unfair share of the DSS’ impunity. Storming Federal Executive Council meeting to forcefully arrest any of the cabinet members, facing corrupt allegations, in the full glare of the president, will complete the cycle of the DSS’ insanity against the letters of the country’s laws. That’s when the security agency will be seen not to be selective in its reckless engagements and disrespect to the rules of law. That’s when Nigerians will get it clear that the DSS operatives are not acting on instructions from above.
President Muhammad Buhari is somebody I love. I support his presidency still. I take these critical positions against the DSS and the presidency because I truly want President Buhari to succeed. I am a Nigerian and my Nigerianess predates Buhari’s presidency just as my Nigerianess will still postdate him as long as I live. I won’t squander my integrity because I want to validate Buhari’s integrity. It’s just right to speak truth to power. The time is ripe for President Buhari to strengthen the institutions under his purview.
Maroof Asudemade writes from Ibadan
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