The Rivers State election crisis has taken a dramatic twist as the Senate has commenced investigation into allegations of undue interference by the Department of State Services (DSS) in the Rivers State Election Petition case pending before the Election Petition Tribunal.
The Upper Chamber has consequently invited the Director-General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, for interrogation over the allegation.
Daura has been summoned to appear before the Senate Ethics and Public Petitions that is conducting the investigation Thursday (today).
The investigation is sequel to a petition sent to the Upper Legislative Chamber by the Rivers State House of Assembly and referred to the committee last week.
The petition, which was signed by the 31 members of the House of Assembly, alleged, among others, that the DSS had arrested some officials of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) and members of the Election Petition Tribunal.
It further alleged that the DSS subjected them to serious intimidation, harassment, and coercion to compromise the judicial independence of the tribunal and pervert the cause of justice.
At the commencement of sitting by the Senate Committee on the petition on Wednesday, at the National Assembly, Chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, (PDP, Imo East Senatorial District), warned all parties involved in the matter against unnecessary delay and stated that the Senate would want prompt response to invitations and questions raised during the investigation.
The Committee declared that it would pay serious attention to allegation of abuse of office implied in the petition against the DSS even as it called on the petitioners to provide specific details on the petition to assist the committee.
Anyanwu said: “The issue of independence of the judiciary is a very serious pillar in the dispensation of justice.
“That is why the committee takes the allegation of intimidation of Tribunal members very seriously, because if the judiciary is intimidated, then the independence is compromised.”
Source: Daily Independent