Human rights activist and senior lawyer, Femi Falana, has commended the newly appointed acting director general of the State Security Services (SSS) Mathew Seiyefa.
Falana in a letter written to the new secret police boss said his chamber wishes Seiyefa a successful tenure while urging him to restore the lost glory of the SSS.
The senior lawyer said the SSS can be revived by restricting the management and staff of the organisation to the prevention and detection of any crime against the internal security of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in accordance with the National Security Agencies Act.
He also called for an end to the infringement of human rights of Nigerian citizens by operatives of the SSS.
Making a list of issues to be addressed by the new acting DG, Falana called for the urgent release a former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki and hundreds of persons detained illegally by the agency.
Falana said: "In the light of the foregoing and in view of your commitment to review the cases of all detainees in the custody of the SSS we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to implement the following recommendations."
1. Discontinue the frivolous charge pending against Messrs Jones Abiri and Peter Collins Opume at the Wuse Magistrate Court;
2. Release the hundreds of detainees that are languishing without trial in the various detention centres of the SSS;
3. Release Colonel Dasuki and other criminal suspects who have been admitted to bail by municipal and regional courts;
4. Release Sheik Ibraheem Elzakzaky and Hajia Zeinab Elzakzaky from illegal custody in line with the orders of the Federal High Court.
5. Respect the rights of suspects to consult legal practitioners of their choice before making, endorsing or writing any statement or answering any question put to them after arrest.
6. Draw the attention of all SSS investigators to the Anti-Torture Act of 2017 which has criminalized the use of torture in all security agencies.
7. Ensure that all detention facilities of the SSS are inspected monthly by the Visiting Judge of the Federal High Court in accordance with the provision of section 34 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act;
8. Stop the SSS from further usurping the powers of the Nigeria Police Force, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with respect to the investigation of allegations of murder, stealing, fraud, money laundering, corruption and other economic and financial crimes which are not connected to national security;
9. Ban the operatives of the SSS from wearing masks as no military or paramilitary official is authorised by law to hide his/her identity in the course of performing official duties;
10. Ensure that the SSS operates within the ambit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and the National Security Agencies Act.
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11. Finally, having assured the Nigerian people of your commitment to ensure that the SSS respects the rights of all persons and operates under the rule of law we hope that you will take urgent steps to improve the image of the security outfit from its current infamy and lawlessness to an institution that is completely dedicated to the enforcement of security laws and the protection of citizens against all acts of internal aggression.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Seiyefa was appointed as a new DG for the SSS by acting president Yemi Osinbajo.
Seiyefa, who hails from Bayelsa state, had earlier served as the director of the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), before he was moved to the DSS headquarters.
He took over from the recently sacked SSS DG, Lawal Daura.
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