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Lawyer: DSS Erred on Ekiti Assembly

Lawyer and rights activist Mike Ozekhome yesterday condemned the invasion of the Ekiti State House of Assembly by the Department of State Services (DSS), saying it was an affront on democracy.

He demanded the release of a lawmaker, Afolabi Akanni (Efon) or his arraignment in court.

Ozekhome said in a statement that the invasion was curious and condemnable, adding that the hallowed chamber had been desecrated.

He said: “The action of the DSS in invading the Ekiti State House of Assembly and taking away a lawmaker is condemnable and undemocratic.

“A House of Assembly is hallowed and sacred and should never be desecrated on any account.

“The DSS is established primarily for security matters and for intelligence gathering within Nigeria, for the protection of senior government officials. It is neither the police nor the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“The invasion is more curious and detestable, happening as it did, in Ekiti State where Governor Ayodele Fayose has been a well known critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, his government and his All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The impression must not be given that the present government, which rode to power on the crest of popular opposition and critical dissent, is muzzling the opposition or brow beating and intimidating those who hold different opinions.

“The invasion of a House of Assembly is a very serious thing which goes against democratic practice and the rule of law.

“Our constitutional democracy envisages robust opposition because power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

“Nigeria’s freedoms, liberties and rights should be allowed to flourish and should not be abridged or decimated on the altar of political expediency.

“Power itself is ephemeral. Its wielders should always act with discretion, respect for the constitution and extant laws.”



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