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Arrest Of Judges: Senate Moves To Amend DSS Act

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Nigerian Senate

It was condemnation galore for the Department of State Services (DSS) at the plenary on Tuesday when the issue of the arrest of judges suspected of corrupt act by the agency came up for debate by the senators.

According to the Senate, the methodology adopted by the DSS was “draconian”.

After an exhaustive debate on the issue, the lawmakers, among others, resolved to amend the laws that establish some security outfits in the country including the DSS.

The Senate, however, rejected the prayer that sought to have the Director General of the DSS, Mamman Daura, appear before it to explain reasons why his men carried out the action.

The condemnation of the action of the DSS, especially the manner in which it carried out the arrest of the jurists was the result of a debate of a motion raised as matter of urgent national importance by Senator Joshua Ledani.

The Senate in the debate also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call all security agencies to order and direct the full observance of the rule of law in the discharge of their duties.

The Senate was of the strong view that the DSS went beyond its bounds when it usurped the powers of the National Judicial Council (NJC) which had the statutory powers of handling matters of misconduct and indiscipline against judicial officers.

The upper chamber noted that the act of breaking into the residences of judicial officers at night with chisel and hammer was one that had further worsened the image of Nigeria among the comity of nations.

The Senate warned that such actions by the DSS could erode the confidence in the judiciary, pointing out that turning the law upside down to fight corruption was an act of corruption in itself.

However, the Senate assured that it will continue to support the efforts to eliminate corruption from Nigeria because of the harm it is doing to the country.

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