The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as the height of lawlessness and orchestrated provocation, the second raid of its data centre in Ikeja, Lagos, by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Monday night, saying the agency must be called to order.
On November 22, the party’s data centre in Ikeja was raided (pictured) by the DSS on the grounds that voter cards were being cloned there.
However, the DSS has not announced its findings from the raid after 10 days.
“The raid by over 40 armed DSS officers, despite a court order restraining the service from such action, shows that the DSS considers itself to be above the laws of the land, and this is totally condemnable,” APC said through its spokesman, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday.
“Even under a PDP government that has nothing but contempt for constitutional order, the lack of respect for a court order by an institution of state like the DSS has plumbed the depth of anomie, and shows that our democracy is in clear and present danger from anarchists.”
The APC explained that the 40 armed DSS officers, who came with trucks, shoved the security personnel at the building aside and broke into the storage facility from where they carted away more than 30 bags filled with the party’s membership registration forms.
The party said the raid came on the same day it challenged the DSS to make public its findings after the first raid, describing it as the worst political scandal in the nation’s history.
“It is sensible to conclude that the DSS’ second raid was its own crude reaction to the challenge we posed to it. Apparently yet to find any evidence of PVC cloning as alleged by the DSS, it is now quite desperate to manufacture evidence to justify its raids. Or how else does one explain the claim by the service that its ‘findings’ will shock Nigerians, even at a time it is still in search of evidence? Is this how self-respecting intelligence agencies conduct their operations?” it queried.
”It is curious that an institution of state will continue to act like an enforcement arm of the ruling party by constantly harassing the opposition. It is strange that an organisation that should be deploying its best staff to gather useful intelligence that can help the nation to win the anti-terrorism war is instead engaging in terrorising the opposition.
”It is time to call the DSS to order, and to remind those at the helms of affairs that while they may be having a free rein today, they will one day rue their actions at this critical time in our nation’s history.”
It expressed surprise that the DSS carried out its raid despite the November 26 order by Mohammed Nasir Yunusa, justice of the federal high court in Lagos, restraining the agency from sealing off the data centre or taking further steps in connection with the property.
The party said the moment Nigerians can no longer seek redress in court just because the law enforcement agencies had elevated themselves above the law, the country could as well bid goodbye to constitutional order.