Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has slammed the mode of operation of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the fight against corruption.
The top lawmaker criticized the President Buhari administration for using the agency as an attack dog in ways that do not augur well for democracy.
Dr. Saraki, was speaking on Thursday at the Presidential Villa during a National Dialogue on the Fight against Corruption, specifically condemned the DSS raid on the homes of some judges last October.
The Senate President who was represented by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, said the approach adopted by the Federal Government was not unsustainable and would not stand the test of time.
Speaking about the institutionalization of the war against graft, he said:
“the end-result of any action of government is as important as the process. The platforms for fighting corruption should not, themselves, be corrupt or be seen to be corrupted.”
“The recent so-called sting operation by the Department of State Security on the residences of some very Senior Justices, some without warrants, others without any proof of incriminating body of evidence, leaves much to be desired.”
Saraki argued that the law gave the EFCC full power for the co-ordination and enforcement of all economic and financial crime laws.
“It is even more instructive that by Section 2 (1) (e) of the EFCC Act, the Department of State Security sits on the Board of the EFCC and could easily, in their meetings, point out the persons or bodies the EFCC needs to investigate and prosecute backed up by the evidence it had clandestinely gathered.”
“That sting operation was a needless violation of our laws and an aberration that democratic society should consider anathema. The EFCC should have been provided the necessary intelligence to execute its mandate if the evidence disclosed a prima-facie case against the Justices”
The operations of the DSS have come under intense scrutiny for its unconventional approach to fighting corruption. There also have been alarm raised by some prominent legal minds that whilst it was noble to fight corruption, the DSS was over stepping its constitutional boundaries and doing the job of other agencies of government.