Reps summon DSS over Ekiti Assembly invasion

By The Citizen

The House of Representatives has summoned Director- General, Department of State Service, DSS, to appear before it within 48 hours to explain why the DSS invaded Ekiti State House of Assembly last Friday. Four lawmakers and top government functionaries were arrested during the invasion.

The summons followed the unanimous adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance moved by House Minority Leader, Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta), yesterday.

It would be recalled that members and staff of the assembly scampered for safety when armed operatives of the DSS invaded the assembly complex.

Presenting the motion, Ogor decried the action, stressing that such interference violated the principle of separation of powers. He said, 'It is a clear violation of the provisions of the constitution; it is unacceptable as it demonstrates interference with an arm of government.

'If somebody violates the law and nothing is done, it gives him the privilege to move forward. 'Therefore, it is important that we summon the Director-General of DSS to explain where the agency derives its powers to invade and destabilise activities of the House.

The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, referred the matter to Committee on Public Safety and Intelligence for further legislative action. In a similar vein, Ekiti State Executive Council, EXCO, also yesterday condemned the invasion.

The EXCO accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to usurp the state government, using military tactics in view of the governor's criticism of the president. It called on the international community, civil society organisations and all lovers of democracy to prevail on the president to ensure immediate release of the detained persons.

In a resolution signed by Deputy Governor, Dr Kolapo Olusola and 19 members at its meeting, the EXCO said that four lawmakers were forcibly 'abducted in the hallowed chambers on Friday and whisked away to yet-tobe identified destination. ' Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo, was arrested and detained by men of DSS on Monday, March 7.

All of them had been held incommunicado since then and reasons for their abduction and detention remain hazy and farfetched.' Also, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ado-Ekiti branch, has expressed dismay at 'the brazen use of force by men of DSS' in the recent arrest of lawmakers, describing their arrest and detention as 'a sharp departure from the tenet of democracy and a clear contravention of the law setting up the institution'.

Ekiti State branch chairman of the NBA, Dr Foluke Dada, in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti yesterday said, 'The arrest is a clear contravention of the Constitution of Nigeria, which the DSS is established to uphold at all times when discharging their duties.'

This is as the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State has alleged plot by the governor to unleash mass violence on the operatives of the Directorate of State Security, DSS, and APC members in the state.

The petition by APC State Secretary, Paul Omotoso, to the Police Commissioner, Mr. James Etop, and state Director of DSS, Mr Andrew Iorkay, alleged that the governor had been mobilising to attack APC members after a planned invasion of DSS office in Ado-Ekiti. National Mirror