House of Reps condemns ‘growing impunity’ of SSS, begins probe

House of Representatives
House of Representatives

Members of the House of Representatives on Thursday unanimously adopted a motion to urgently check growing cases of rights abuses and acts of impunity by the State Security Service.

The decision came on the heels of numerous disobedience of court rulings by the domestic intelligence office.

The agency has flouted several court orders for the release of detainees since 2015.

It has continued to detain a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, despite bails granted by courts.

Asides the two, several Nigerians, including journalists, are widely believed to be in the custody of the SSS without trial.

At Thursday’s plenary, lawmakers took turns to lambast an emerging trend of lawlessness on the part of the SSS.

The motion was jointly raised by Toby Okechukwu, Zakari Mohammed, Chinda, Jisalo and Ali Madaki.

Baba Ibrahim, Abiante Inombek, Gabriel Onyenwife, Douye Diri and Bode Ayorinde also took part in sponsoring it.

Specifically, the lawmakers said recent disruption of a protest organised by a group of lawyers in Abuja was illegal and could undermine Nigeria’s Constitution which guarantees citizens a right to peaceful assembly.

The lawyers, under the aegis of Citizens for Good Governance, had planned to demonstrate against SSS’ disregard for court judgements on December 22.

The House also condemned the detention of Ikenga Ugochinyere, an aide to Senate President Bukola Saraki and leader of Nigerian Youth Council— among other Nigerians said to have been detained for weeks without trial.

Consequently, the lower chamber set up a joint committee which includes the Committee on Police, Human Rights, National Security and Justice, among others, to investigate the activities of the SSS and other security agencies.

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