Senate President Bukola Saraki called the raid of DSS on Judge’s homes illegal. Bukola Saraki spoke at a National Dialogue on the Fight against Corruption organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), in collaboration with the Office of the Vice-President, in Abuja on Thursday.
Bukola Saraki, who was represented by Senator Chukwuka Utazii, accused PACAC of supporting the use of extra-judicial means to fight corruption.
“The recent so-called sting operation by the Department of State Services on the residences of some very senior justices, some without search warrants, others without any proof of incriminating body of evidence, leaves much to be desired.”
Saraki said that there was a need for all government bodies to operate within their mandate.
He said even though the National Security Agencies Act of 1986 granted the DSS the powers to act in economic crimes of national security dimension, Section 6(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Act of 2004, a latter enactment, had vested the power for the co-ordination and enforcement of all economic and financial crimes laws and enforcement functions conferred on any other person or authority on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He said: “It is even more instructive that by Section 2(1)(e) of the EFCC Act, the Department of State Services sits on the board of the EFCC and could easily, in their meetings, point out the persons or bodies the EFCC needs to investigate and prosecute backed up by the evidence it has clandestinely gathered.
“That sting operation was a needless violation of our laws and an aberration that democratic society should consider anathema.
“The EFCC should have been provided the necessary intelligence to execute its mandate if the evidence disclosed a prima facie case against the justices.”
He also accused PACAC of demonising the National Assembly as a corrupt institution, saying that this would not help the fight against graft.
“Certain government agencies and civil society bodies (and PACAC is not innocent of this), have formed the habit of making a scapegoat of the National Assembly as a den of corruption.
“They deliberately cast institutions of state in a non-salutary hue that is divorced from reality. It does not help in confidence building, within government and across the civil population, when institutions of state are deliberately demonised in order to put the shine on others.