A former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, has lampooned the Department of State Services, also known as SSS for allegedly engaging in what he termed unhealthy rivalry with the Police over the prosecution of the suspected mastermind of the Nyanya motor park bombing.
The retired CP stated that going by the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, only the Nigerian Police is empowered to investigate and prosecute criminal cases.
According to him, the role of the DSS is to operate as “person behind the mask” and support the Police with evidence and useful information necessary to prove or establish their criminal case against the suspect in court.
Tsav in a statement on Tuesday, noted that the dismissal of the case against Aminu Ogwuche by a Federal High Court, Abuja, following the rivalry between the Police and the DSS, raised many fundamental questions which the authorities must address.
He said, “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, gives the Nigeria Police the power to investigate and prosecute criminal cases. The role of the SSS is to operate as person behind the mask and support the Police with evidence and useful information necessary to prove or establish their criminal case against the suspect, with their (SSS) identities always concealed.
“Today the SSS fights over criminal cases with the Police instead of playing the role of informants. In doing this, they expose their identities. A security officer whose identity is blown or exposed becomes less effective. This is what is happening in our security agencies”.
Tsav attributed the rivalry between the two security agencies to the fight for supremacy rather than inter-service cooperation, stressing that this is counter-productive.
He said, “Could this be propelled by corruption or could it be likened to the fight of two wives married to the same husband with each trying to outplay the other and thus win the husband’s love?
“Investigation of criminal cases by the Police is more in line with the rule of law than what happens elsewhere”.
For the purpose of efficiency and successful handling of criminal cases, the retired police commissioner advised the SSS to continue to act as “men behind the mask and as informants to the Police” in major criminal cases.
“That is what we met in the Police, that is what we were taught and that is what we practiced during our good old days”, he submitted.