The House of Representatives said on Tuesday that the DSS should appear before lawmakers to explain how it got the powers to invade the houses of some judges to arrest them.
An ad hoc committee was given the mandate to investigate the arrest of the judges, which took place on Friday and Saturday.
A motion on urgent matter of public importance, moved by the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr. Kingsley Chinda, to investigate the invasion, was sustained.
The House, acting on Chinda’s motion, also recalled that the DSS had previously invaded the Ekiti State Government House and Akwa Ibom State Government House, among others in the past.
It said, “An ad hoc committee is set up to investigate all cases of invasion by the DSS since May 2015, to see how they comply with the National Security Agencies Act.”
Arguing the motion, Chinda cited Section 2 (3) of the Act, where he said the role of the DSS was principally to prevent crimes against the “internal security of Nigeria.”
He added, “The Act is not ambiguous but very specific. The function of the DSS is the prevention and detection of any crime against the internal security of Nigeria.
“The DSS’ functions do not involve investigation of corruption.
“The DSS, by its action, went against the law setting it up. This is a democracy and it is necessary for them to tell Nigerians how they derive their powers.”
The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, quickly rounded off the debate, saying further comments by lawmakers could “prejudge” the outcome of the investigation.
“Whenever there is an allegation of breach of a law, we should not prejudge the investigation.
“Let us investigate the allegation and establish whether the DSS breached the law or not”, Dogara stated.
Earlier, an attempt by a member from Osun State, Prof. Mojeed Alabi, to halt the motion, was overruled.
Alabi had moved a counter-motion on the grounds that the House should not delve into an issue that was within the purview of another arm of government.
However, lawmakers shouted him down before Dogara also overruled him.
Some members chorused, “sit down”, “sit down”, “sit down.”
The House resolution came just 48 hours after its Committees on Federal Judiciary and Justice had criticised the DSS’ action.
The Chairman, Committee on Federal Judiciary, Mr. Aminu Shagari, had told The PUNCH that the manner the judges were arrested, humiliated the judiciary.