The Center for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has commended the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for taking the bold step in dismissing Lawal Daura as the Director General of the Department of State Service, DSS.
Following the invasion of the National Assembly by armed men of the DSS earlier in the week, the Acting President fired Daura.
CACOL however called on the Acting President to go beyond firing the DSS DG, and order for his immediate prosecution.
CACOL, in a statement signed by its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, on Friday, listed what it termed as the many sins of the sacked DSS boss.
The center categorically demanded an exhaustive probe of the secret police since Lawal Daura’s appointment in 2015, stressing that “in the Security understanding of Lawal Daura, all was fair game as journalists and Activists were hounded into detention and held without trial”.
It continued, “According to reliable Media report, there could be nothing less than 300 Nigerians in custody without trial, including a journalist from Bayelsa state, Jones Abiri, held since 2016 without trial.
“Other notable perversions of the role of SSS under Lawal Daura include: in September 2015, the Akwa Ibom Government House was raided by SSS operatives in Uyo, the state capital. The agency said it uncovered arms, ammunition and huge stash of United States dollars in some of the rooms.
“But nearly three years later, the secret police has not filed any charges. Several Nigerians condemned the action at the time, casting strong doubts on the SSS claims
“Bullying Lawmakers – Mr Daura sent his men to clamp down on lawmakers at state and federal levels during his time at the SSS. He started with the invasion of Ekiti State House of Assembly in March 2016.
“During the raid, which was widely condemned, SSS operatives arrested several lawmakers, including Afolabi Akanni. Other lawmakers were later summarily released, but Mr Akanni was taken to Abuja and held incommunicado for several days.
“After social media campaign and legal efforts to secure his release failed, as Mr Daura ignored court orders in that respect, the state government raised alarm that he was dead in custody. It was a few days afterwards that the SSS released the lawmaker without filing charges. He was said to be gravely ill by the time he was released.
“The unconstitutional attempt to remove Governor Samuel Ortom in Benue State last month was also traced to Mr Daura. The former SSS boss was said to have, together with the police, provided security for eight lawmakers to take over the House of Assembly in Makurdi. Though there are 30 members in the House, and eight members are definitely insufficient to form a one-third quorum as required by law.
“Even though the presidency condemned the act as unconstitutional, there was no evidence that any action was taken to discipline those who deployed security resources to that ill-fated mission.
“In September 2015, the Akwa Ibom Government House was raided by SSS operatives in Uyo, the state capital. The agency said it uncovered arms, ammunition and huge stash of United States dollars in some of the rooms. Nearly three years later, the secret police has not filed any charges. Several PDP leaders condemned the action at the time, casting strong doubts on the SSS’ claims.
“Stiff Opposition and Intriguing report on choice of Magu as EFCC Boss. Although he was appointed in November 2015, Ibrahim Magu remains an acting-chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission nearly three years later, largely because of Mr Daura. It was the former SSS boss who wrote ‘security report’ twice to the Senate, warning lawmakers not to confirm his colleague’s appointment.”
The center therefore called for a thorough and forensic probe of the activities of the DSS under Daura “with a view to not only apply redress where necessary, but to ensure that appropriate sanctions are applied, where required, while the entire Security Architecture of the country is revamped and rejigged to meet modern challenges and International standard.”