In recent times, there has been growing concern over the actions of certain security agencies in Nigeria and the Department of State Services (DSS), whose primary responsibility is state security, has been at the centre of these concerns.
Under the Nigerian constitution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) are known and recognised to be the agencies saddled with the role of handling of financial crimes and corruption-related matters.
One particular case that has garnered attention is the allegations made by Hon. Wale Adedayo, the executive chairman of Ijebu East local government.
He had alleged in an open letter to a former governor and a chieftain of All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba that the current governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, consistently denied the third tier of government the allocations meant for them.
The executive chairman accused the governor of neglecting the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) Chairmen who came on board in 2021, stating that they have not received any federal allocations since their tenure began. Additionally, he alleged that the constitutionally mandated 10% share of the state Internally Generated Revenues meant for the LGAs has not been provided.
Furthermore, Adedayo claimed that the governor never allocated any funds from the President Muhammad Buhari intervention to states and local governments, despite the 20 LGAs being entitled to approximately 10 billion naira. He also mentioned that funds intended for Ecology management, allocated in the name of the LGAs, did not reach them.
Another accusation leveled against the governor is the takeover of revenue sources belonging to the LGAs, including Motor Parks and Primary schools, by the state government under the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun. This action is alleged to be a continuation of what Senator Ibikunle Amosun had initiated.
Recall that the embattled chairman was invited over invited by the DSS to its office on September 1, 2023 and was later detained after honouring the invitation.
Many are questioning under what jurisdiction these allegations fall and why the DSS has seemingly become a tool in the hands of Dapo Abiodun, the governor of Ogun State.
It has been observed that every petition against the governor is met with a DSS detention, raising suspicions of abuse of power.
These views further complicate the matter and add to the skepticism surrounding the actions of this security agency.
One fundamental principle that should guide the actions of security agencies is the rule of law and justice.
It is imperative that these agencies do not become influenced by the highest bidder or used as tools to suppress dissent. The freedom of citizens should not be negotiable, and their rights should be protected at all costs.
It is disheartening to witness a situation where the petitioners themselves are being treated as the accused in Abiodun’s Ogun State. This phenomenon has been referred to as “Lagata syndrome,” reflecting the unjust treatment faced by those who dare to speak out against those in power.
Lagata is a character in a movie S’aworo Ide, produced by Tunde Kelani. He is an all powerful dictator under whose state machineries are used to intimidate dissenting opinions, while corruption and illegal detentions freely flow.
The Adedayo’s saga calls to mind a particular scene in the movie, where a corrupt king, who has Lagata’s backing, is seen displaying exactly what is now relatable. Watch below.
In light of these concerns, the campaign for justice and freedom for Hon. Adedayo has gained momentum, with the hashtag #freewaleadedayo circulating on social media.
This campaign seeks to shed light on the alleged injustices and abuses of power, calling for a fair and transparent investigation into the matter.
Conclusively, the recent events involving the DSS have raised serious concerns about the role and actions of the security agency in Nigeria and it is crucial that this agency operates within the confines of the rule of law, ensuring the protection of citizens’ rights and the pursuit of justice.
The campaign for justice and freedom for Hon. Adedayo serves as a reminder that the freedom of citizens should not be compromised or negotiated.