A former APC deputy national publicity secretary, Timi Frank, stated on Tuesday that the Department of State Service (DSS) has to be completely restructured since it has evolved into the political party’s intelligence division.
He added that the DSS must awaken and regain the trust Nigerians once had in its leadership.
Frank stated this in a statement in response to recent DSS actions, adding, that it was obvious the DSS was playing a Nollywood script with an uninteresting end”, he said.
“With the APC in control of the Federal Government, the legislature and at least 22 states at the moment, the APC is the one that has the power to foist an interim government and not the opposition which does not even control the police. With the DSS making insinuations that the opposition are behind this plan, it is obvious the DSS is playing a Nollywood script, a fictional plot with an uninteresting end”, he said.
The political activist said that the group had secretly recorded and subsequently released telephone conversations of certain political figures (particularly those in the opposition) in an effort to humiliate them and impress APC members.
He claimed that while the DSS is allowed to monitor illegal communication, it is not allowed to reveal private discussions that are unfavorable to the APC.
He further argued that as stated in the DSS’s enabling Act, its primary duties included counterintelligence, internal security, counterterrorism, and surveillance, in addition to looking into many other significant offenses against the state.
Frank said, “The Department of State Services or the State Security Service needs a complete and total overhaul. The agency which was established by Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, was supposed to be patterned after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States of America or the MI5 Security Service in the United Kingdom.
“It is also charged with the protection of senior government officials, particularly the President, Vice President, state governors and visiting heads of states and governments with their respective families.
“But the DSS has since deviated from its core mandate in the last 10 years by becoming a willing tool to the government in power. In recent times, the DSS has focused more on regime protection and fostering the interest of politicians in the ruling party and their allies. The DSS and the APC have become one and the same and it is almost difficult to differentiate a statement written by the DSS and the APC.
“How do we explain away the fact that the DSS has continued to tap the telephone lines and release phone recordings of opposition politicians and influential Nigerians critical of the government?
“The latest misadventure was a leaked telephone conversation between Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and revered cleric, Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, and presiding Bishop of the Faith Tabernacle in Ota, Ogun State.
“On the eve of the Presidential election, Obi and Bishop Oyedepo had a private telephone conversation. There was no terror plot and the conversation in itself was not about the use of violence. Obi simply asked Bishop Oyedepo to help him convince his congregation in the southwest to vote for him.
“Similarly, a day after the Presidential election, former President Olusegun Obasanjo received a call from Musician, Charles Oputa professionally known as Charly Boy. In the conversation, Charly Boy asked Obasanjo what could be done to stop the stealing of the people’s mandate. Obasanjo suggested that they could protest. The right to peaceful protest is guaranteed by the constitution.
“Private discussions are what they are: private. Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution expressly states: ‘The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.”
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: Shell’s inaccurate data raises questions around efforts to control methane emissions in Nigeria
Much worse for the environment than carbon dioxide, despite global efforts to control methane, emissions continue soaring. With over a...
FEATURE…Missing Rig Workers: Tragedy, Injustice and the Depthwize cabal
The serene landscape of Ovhor in Delta State bore witness to a disaster that shook the nation’s conscience. The capsize...
FEATURE… In the shadow of kidnappers: The story of Nigeria’s albatross
For decades, Nigeria has been grappling with a problem that has threatened the safety and stability of its people: kidnapping....
FEATURE: The falling standard of education in Nigeria today: Whose Fault?
Over the years, education has proven to be the fulcrum facilitating national development in any state. Through education, knowledge is...
INVESTIGATION: Failed multi-million naira constituency water projects litter Sokoto communities
Many rural communities in Sokoto State are at the risk of an outbreak of diarrhea and other diseases due to...