Is The DSS Abusing Its Powers?

September 2, 2020

Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

So, its fair to say that it is becoming standard procedure to be invited by the Department of State Services (DSS) if one makes any comment that is deemed to be targeted at the Government, or that is considered ‘hate speech’ or inciteful or any other related kind of public statement.

But, in short, we still do not know the exact reason why the DSS invites people over comments. But let’s find out.

Origin of the SSS (or DSS)

The State Security Service (SSS) was created in June 1986 by Decree 19 of the Ibrahim Babangida Military administration. This decree dissolved the National Security Organization into three different splinter security organizations under the office of the Co-ordinator of National Security.

These security organizations were: The State Security Service, The National Intelligence Agency and the Defence Intelligence Agency.

Ironically, the SSS is now commonly known by many Nigerians as the DSS (Department of State Security) – a name that is still controversial and many say is not in line with the law.

Mandate of the SSS

The major mandate of the SSS is in Subsection (3) of the National Security Organizations Act which charges it with the responsibility for:

a) the prevention and detection within Nigeria of any crime against the internal security of Nigeria;

b) the protection and preservation of all non-military classified matters concerning the internal security of Nigeria; and

(c) such other responsibilities affecting internal security within Nigeria as the National Assembly or the President, as the case may be, may deem necessary.

Is The DSS Abusing Its Powers?

Within the past few weeks, we have seen repeated invites from the ‘DSS’ to people who were deemed to have made hate speeches and/or inciteful comments.

Obadiah Mailafia, a former CBN deputy Governor and Presidential candidate was invited by the department over claims he made on a radio interview that he had intelligence that a sitting governor is a commander of terrorist group – Boko Haram.

Just recently, news also surfaced online that celebrities Don Jazzy and Tiwa Savage were allegedly invited by the outfit over comments and claims made about the President Buhari administration. The report further claims that these celebrities were warned to be careful with their social media posts and that a certain #WeAreTired hashtag has been discontinued by Tiwa Savage.

But, given that the DSS has recorded huge wins in the past, including the October 2010 interception of a large shipment of ammunitions from Iran through the Apapa port, one cannot argue that the security outfit can not be effective when it wants to be.

We just hope that intelligence and counter-intelligence activities are properly balanced with human right considerations, and the freedom of all Nigerians to many rights, including speech, and subject to all relevant laws of the land, including the constitution.

Check back every weekday by 10am for more Zikoko Citizen articles.

Doyin Olagunju

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

February 24, 2020

Stress management in Nigeria sounds ironic as if you can manage all the stress Nigeria throws at you. It’s like driving with a blindfold – it just doesn’t make sense. That’s how a typical day in Nigeria is. However, if you follow these tested and trusted tips, Nigeria won’t kill you. You will kill it […]

September 18, 2020

In case, you slept yesterday afternoon and suddenly woke up this morning, well, good morning. But a lot has happened. The Federal Government directed that all Nigerians should go to all the banks they have an account in and fill something called a “Self Certification Form”. They say the BVN, National ID, Voter’s Card, Drivers […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Buffet
October 28, 2020

For many Nigerians, their experiences at buffets rank highest as one of their most embarrassing moments.  Read: 5 Ways A Buffet Can Go Wrong In Nigeria From simple things like being overly shy because you now have to exercise your alimentary canal in front of everyone, to really serious buffet malfunctions like when a host […]

smiling couple
October 28, 2020

On October 29, 2020, we’ll be launching Love Life. It is a new Zikoko series about relationships, situationships and entanglements. To get you excited, here is a quiz that will tell you just how much you bring to your relationships. Hello people of the internet, you can now support us financially to help Zikoko keep Zikokoing.

Nigeria New Constitution
October 28, 2020

Nigerians are wondering if we can vote for a new constitution. The curiosity began, again, when Chileans voted on October 25, 2020, for a new constitution. 78% of Chileans voted in the referendum that the constitution should be re-written, and 79% voted that the constitution should be written by new writers elected by the people. […]

October 28, 2020

Yesterday, we told you 7 Things You HAVE To Know Before You Peg Someone and while most people screamed in revulsion, some others were more open to the idea. I was curious so I asked six Nigerian men what they thought about pegging. Abomaye, 25, Straight Honestly, I really think it opens a whole new […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 7, 2019

These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

November 15, 2019

There are two types of people in Nigeria right now: those who are proud Marlians, and those who are still in denial about stanning the divisive star. So, for those who proudly wear the Marlian tag, we made a quiz to test how well you really know Naira Marley. If you get more than 6 […]

December 5, 2019

We already tried to guess how much you have in your account and your current net worth, and we think we did a pretty great job (keep any complaints to yourself). Now, we’re going to try and guess your monthly salary based on your relationship with money. Oya, take the quiz: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians […]

More from Citizen

Nigeria New Constitution
October 28, 2020

Nigerians are wondering if we can vote for a new constitution. The curiosity began, again, when Chileans voted on October 25, 2020, for a new constitution. 78% of Chileans voted in the referendum that the constitution should be re-written, and 79% voted that the constitution should be written by new writers elected by the people. […]

Obasanjo Oputa panel
October 27, 2020

On October 19, 2020, the Lagos State Government set up the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for victims of police brutality in Lagos state. But, judicial panels are not new in Nigeria. In fact, about 20 years ago, we also had a popular Oputa panel. Read: #EndSARS: The Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry […]

Lagos Judicial Panel
October 27, 2020

The 8-man Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of police brutality in Lagos is now sitting. The panel is led by Justice Doris Okuwobi, a retired Judge of Lagos State. The youth representatives on the panel are Rinu Oduala and Majekodunmi Temitope. The panel was constituted by the Governor of Lagos […]

October 26, 2020

To impeach a president is to charge the president with a crime or misconduct. It is after being found guilty that the president can then be removed from office. An impeachment process is a very serious process. It amounts to reversing the decision of the people at the elections. This is why not less than […]

October 25, 2020

Nigeria’s youth unemployment is growing. But on October 22nd, 2020, in his highly anticipated broadcast to the nation, the president mentioned that his administration had put in place a lot of programs to help Nigerian youths, including Tradermoni, Farmermoni, Npower and so many other social investment programs. We decided to look at the unemployment data […]

October 22, 2020

Let’s start here: On the 20th of October, 2020, armed men of the Nigerian army allegedly shot at peaceful protesters in the recent #EndSars movement. It is estimated that at least twelve people were killed in Lagos, and hundred more were injured around Nigeria. In light of this unfortunate and avoidable incident, we decided to […]

October 22, 2020

This article contains updates on occurrences related to the general national unrest outside Lagos that you might have missed. We’ll keep updating it. Seyi Makinde addressing protesters in Ibadan The Oyo State Governor took to the streets of Ibadan yesterday to address protesters and the general public and to tell them that peace would return […]

October 22, 2020

Yesterday, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu addressed the state following the massacre of innocent civilians at the Lekki toll-gate the previous night. Here’s the speech. After watching him struggle for over seven minutes to deliver his speech, we were able to pick out some of the stuff we couldn’t just stand. See: 1. The lies […]

October 22, 2020

Recently, there has been an increasing occurrence of social media accounts broadcasting and spreading fake news. In one instance, a Twitter user posted a photo of Aisha Yesufu, a prominent activist purportedly showing her relaxing in her living room with her husband while #EndSARS protesters are on the streets. The photo was actually of her […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X