The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has cautioned the Department of State services, DSS, against being used by politicians to intimate and harass perceived opposition.
The party was reacting to an alleged report that some principal officers including the Speaker, deputy Speaker, Majority Leader and other principal officers of the Zamfara State House of Assembly were arrested and detained by the secret police.
The opposition party maintained that the alleged arrest and detention contravenes “Section 3 of the Legislative Houses Act which protects the legislature from prosecution.”
According to the party’s twitter handle @pdpNigeria, the secret police has no powers to arrest lawmakers while carrying out their constitutional duties.
The tweet reads, “We are concern by the report of the arrest of members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly by the State Security Service for performing their legislative duties as provided by the constitution.
“A press release by the Chairman ZSHA Committee on Information indicate that the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader other principal members of the ZSHA & suporting staff have been arrested & detained for investigating Gov. A. A. Yari on the grounds of abuse of office, misappropriation of statutory allocations, misappropriation of bailout funds.
“We are concerned that the arrest & detention is being carried out in contravention of Section 3 of the Legislative Houses (Powers & Privileges) Act which protects members of the Legislature from prosecution for the performance of their lawful duties as provided for by the Constitution.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we posit that the DSS not only lacks the power to arrest members of the ZSHA or any Legislative House for carrying out their lawful duties, but also ought not to be used as a tool with which to harass real or perceived political enemies. For the purposes of clarity, the DSS was established by S3 of the National Security Agencies Act.
“We urge the DSS to immediately release the lawmakers and to refrain from being used by politicians as a tool to harass and intimidate opponents.”