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Land scandal: Legal Practitioner Questions DSS Jurisdiction To Arrest, Detain Suspect In Civil Case

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Barrister Gabriel Adikwu, a legal practitioner, has queried the jurisdiction of the Department of State Services, DSS to receive and entertain petitions dwelling on civil cases.

Barrister Adikwu, who is also a counsel to Mr Sherif Rabiu, a former Assistant Commissioner of Police, said that it is null and void for DSS to detain a party in a civil case.

Mr Sherif found himself behind bars in DSS custody after Barrister AS Mohammed, counsel to Mr Murtala Nyako former Governor of Adamawa State, petitioned Mr Sherif over a land purchase scandal amounting to N80 million.

WIkkiTimes gathered that the former Commissioner of Police has been detained by the DSS over the purported petition against him which is also being investigated by the police.

In the petition written on behalf of Sebore Farms, a farm belonging to Murtala Nyako and his family, Mr Sherif was alleged to have diverted N80 million initially given to him to purchase land for Sebore Farms but instead, allegedly diverted the money for another land belonging to Ashran Nigeria Ltd, a company that was said to belong to the former Assistant Commissioner of Police.

In a letter addressed to the DSS Director, challenging Sheriff’s invitation and subsequent detention, Adikwu, reminded the DSS that, the agency inviting and detaining Mr Sheriff was an abuse of power.

The letter which was seen by our correspondent, Adikwu said, “this act of the complainant prostituting between security agencies is strange as bringing the same matter which is before the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) before you is an abuse of the law.

“More so that the national agencies act which establishes the State Security Services in section 2 (3) clearly provides thus: (a) the prevention and detection within Nigeria of any crime the internal security of Nigeria; (b) the protection and preservation of all non-military classified matters concerning internal security of Nigeria”, he said.

Adikwu, therefore, told our Correspondent that his client’s (Sheriff) ordeal was ” a show of power and its abuse”.

DAILY TIMES reports that the police requested counsel to Mr Nyako needed to give further evidence to prove his case against Sheriff.

Adikwu therefore, wondered why the same complaint was made to the DSS, despite its want of jurisdiction to entertain such complaints.

Efforts to get the DSS to commend on the matter proved abortive as officers contacted advised our Correspondent to wait till Monday.

However, the administration of Criminal Justice Law in Nigeria prohibits security agencies including the police and DSS to get involved in civil cases and/or detaining suspects in that regard.

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