Senate summons DSS DG over alleged interference in election tribunals
The Senate has commenced investigation into allegations of interference by the Department of State Services (DSS) in the Rivers State Election Petition pending before the Election petition Tribunal.
The Upper Chamber has therefore, invited the Director-General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, for interrogation over the allegation. He is to appear before the Senate Ethics and Public petitions that is conducting the investigation today (Thursday) A petition sent to the Upper Legislative Chamber by the Rivers State House of Assembly and referred to the committee last week prompted the investigation.
Signed by the 31 members of the House of Assembly, the petition alleged among others that the DSS had arrested some officials of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) and members of the Election Petition Tribunal and subjected them to serious intimidation, Harassment and coercion to compromise the judicial independence of the Tribunal and pervert the cause of justice.
At the commencement of sitting by the Senate Committee on the petition yesterday at the National Assembly, Chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, (PDP, Imo East Senatorial District) warned all parties involved in the matter against unnecessary delay and stated that the Senate would want prompt response to invitations and questions raised during the investigation.
The Committee declared that it would pay serious attention to allegation of abuse of office implied in the petition against the DSS even as it called on the petitioners to provide specific details on the petition to assist the committee. “The issue of independence of the judiciary is a very serious pillar in the dispensation of justice.
That is why the committee takes the allegation of intimidation of Tribunal members very seriously because if the judiciary is intimidated, then the independence is compromised. So, we want all details about this allegation supplied to the committee without delay,” Anyanwu stated.