DSS blockade of NASS is treasonable, says former director

DENIS Amachree, a former Deputy Director at the Department of State Services (DSS) says the blockade of the National Assembly complex by DSS operatives on Tuesday, could be called treason.

Amachree, speaking during Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said the DSS has no power whatsoever to have invaded an arm of government.

“The leadership of an intelligence agency should know that there is what is called (the principle of) separation of power, and if he (the DSS DG) is worth his salt, even if he was directed to do that, he would have sat everybody down and say ‘we cannot do this because it is not constitutional’,” Amachree said.

He said the action of the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, in sacking Lawal Daura as head of the DSS, was in order, adding that more disciplinary actions will be taken against him, as what he did “could be called treason”.

“What he has actually done is to go and upset another arm of government. As long as you are not allowing any arm of government to operate the way it should operate constitutionally, then it could be called treason.

“If they (the DSS) have gathered intelligence that this is going to happen or it’s going to affect the nation, you know where to go. You go to the President or the Acting President as in this case tell him.”

Even in such a situation, Amachree said, the President could not have ordered the blockade of the National Assembly premises because it is an independent arm of government.

“This particular DG might have gone off on a tangent, where he felt that he might be a law unto himself, whereby he does not respect certain officers of the government and does things unilaterally,” Amachree said.

“If the NSA (National Security Adviser) was aware (of the NASS operation), the DG would not have been sacked. The NSA must have briefed the Acting President…and again, suggest actions that should be taken.

    “In fact, let me put it this way: there is serious lawlessness going on in the country right now. Lawlessness.”

    Amachree stressed that leaders of security agencies ought to realise that their allegiance and loyalty is to the country and its constitution, and not to the president in power.

    “I personally feel that the security agencies, the police, the SSS, should stay out of politics because their job is to this nation and not to any political party or any particular personality in government.

    “We are seeing situations where they are leaning to one side or the other and I think they should correct that and bring back the security agencies where they are supposed to be, and that is being neutral.”

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