New Telegraph

Lawyer asks court to outlaw citizens’ arrest and detention by SSS

A rights activist, Tope Alabi, has asked a Federal High Court in Lagos to outlaw the practice of arrest and detention of citizens by operatives of State Security Service (SSS).


In a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1071/21, the lawyer is seeking for a declaration that the authorised operations of the SSS neither involve arrest and detention of Nigerians without a court order nor involves arrest or extrajudicial killing of a person accused of a crime without a trial and conviction by a court.


Alabi is also seeking for an order banning the State Security Service (SSS) from being addressed or addressing itself as ‘Department of State Service (DSS)’ without an amendment of the law. He want the court to hold that DSS is not an agency established under any law in Nigeria.


He further sought a declaration that the authorised operations of the SSS “do not involve the killing of Nigerians in their private homes at midnight when they are asleep, without a trial and conviction by the competent court in Nigeria and without a death sentence upon which execution may rest”.


Besides, the lawyer also want the court to determine whether the SSS can invade any state in the country without the knowledge and consent of the sitting governor of such state.


The State Security Service (SSS) as well as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) were joined as respondents in the suit.


In a 17-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit, Alabi recalled the events of October 8, 2016, when SSS operatives invaded judges’ homes; the August 2, 2019 invasion of Omoyele Sowore’s home and the July 2021 raid on the home of Sunday Igboho, during which two people were killed and 12 persons were arrested.


“The SSS had made itself an agent for dispute settlement and debt recovery among the citizenry and its activities had been creating panic and terror in the society”, the lawyer averred. The respondents are yet to file any defence while no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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