The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has given the Department of State Services seven days within which to tender a public apology for invading the official residence of the state governor or face a legal action.
The Speaker of the House, Aniekan Uko, issued the ultimatum at a press conference in Abuja, on Sunday.
Uko, who was flanked by all the 26 members of the Assembly during the conference, said the people of the state condemned in strong terms what he called an act of “terrorism.”
He said, “We are going to sue the DSS (otherwise known as the SSS) unless they apologise to Akwa Ibom State within seven days.”
Uko also dared the service to make public what it found and took away from the official quarters.
The Speaker described the invasion carried out on Thursday, September 3, 2015 as an “assault on the very essence of our democracy and freedom”.
According to him, the invasion was carried out by “terrorists masking as operatives of the Department of State Services, otherwise known as SSS.”
The lawmakers said during the raid, “the operatives broke into rooms and guest houses within the Government House, which is one of the strongest symbols of our confederacy and in the process damaged valuables belonging to the government and people of Akwa Ibom State.”
They described the raid as a clear breach of Section 308 (1,2,3) the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which, the lawmakers said conferred on the state governor immunity from prosecution.
The lawmakers expressed sadness that the security operatives who were paid with tax payers’ money carried out “such a brazen attack in broad day light” without the courtesy of informing the governor.
Uko said, “We are firm in the belief that if the raid on the Hilltop Mansion was not an act of felony, persecution and political vendetta, the DSS would have declared their mission before unleashing terror on innocent workers of the Akwa Ibom State Government and or openly declare to the authorities in the state what they found and what they took away from our Government House.
“We, hereby challenge the Director General of the DSS, Alhaji Lawal Musa Daura, to tell the people of Akwa Ibom State, Nigerians and indeed lovers of democracy all over the world, why he ordered the ill-fated operation on the Akwa Ibom State Government.
“The people of Akwa Ibom State will hold Mr. Daura and the DSS responsible if any unforeseen incident befalls the governor, his deputy or key officials of the Akwa Ibom State Government.”
The legislators also urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to launch proper investigation into “the ridiculous action of the DSS.”
“We are shocked that the DSS which is currently purging officers it claimed to have shown unconcealed partisanship should descend so low to the extent of staging a coup d’état on our governor, simply because he belongs to an opposition party,” Uko said.
But a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yusuf Ali, said except the court, any other place could be searched by security agencies.
He however urged the various security agencies in the country to follow the constitution in the discharge of their duties.
Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Nwobike, however, condemned the alleged invasion, which he said could be interpreted to mean that the Federal Government was trying to muzzle the opposition.
He said, “I think it is an ugly sign. The DSS is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring internal security but not to invade the Government House of a state government that is being controlled by the opposition party.
“The Nigerian public should not be clapping when this kind of thing happens unless we will see ourselves drifting towards the militarisation of the society. It is wrong, it should be accepted.”
“I only know that everywhere except the court enjoys some level of indiscriminate search by the security agency.
“However, considering the immunity enjoyed by governor