From CHUKS AKUNNA, Abuja
The Presidency has begun moves to resolve a growing rivalry between the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the State Security Service (SSS), Daily Sun has learnt. A top official of government who did not want his name in print disclosed at the weekend that the Presidency was worried about the rivalry between both agencies and the security implications for the country.
The official listed the controversial escape and re-arrest of suspected terrorist, Kabiru Sokoto and the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde, private secretary to Edo State governor, as two events that had fuelled mistrust between the police and SSS. Last week, the House of Representatives summoned the SSS Director General, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong, on how his men paraded a set of suspects different from the ones earlier paraded by the police in Oyerinde’s murder investigations.
“The role of the SSS is intelligence gathering on national security issues and protection of VIPs. The protection of life and property, as well as the prosecution of those who have violated life and property is the duty of the police,” the official said. “Yes, the SSS as a responsible security agency can arrest anybody suspected to have committed murder. But such suspects have to be handed over to the police for prosecution. Parading the suspects before handing them over to the police was wrong,” submitted the official.
He added: “The greater worry is a report that the SSS handed the suspects over to the police without their case files. This is a very serious issue that we are trying to resolve. “Both security agencies report to two retired senior military officers. Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade is the minister of Police Affairs. SSS reports directly to Dasuki Sambo, a retired colonel and National Security Adviser (NSA).”
Apart from both being commissioned in 1974, Dasuki and Olubolade clinched key political appointments while in military service. Dasuki served as ADC to the then military president General Ibrahim Babangida. On his part, Olubolade served as the military governor of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Bayelsa State.