THE Instrument Number 1 of the Department of State Services (DSS), now an Act of the National Assembly, which was signed into law by former head of state, General Abdusalami Abubakar, bars the organisation from submitting its books to any other agency in the land.
The Instrument, now cited as Cap 278, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1999, which was signed into law on May 13, 1999, indicates that the Director-General of the DSS would only submit its books to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The law encompasses the activities and operations of five other security agencies and it is cited also cited as the National Security Agencies Act (Cap 278).
The Instruments contained in the Act include Instrument No NSA 1; Instrument No NSA 2; Instrument DIA1; Instrument No NIA 1 and Instrument No SSS1.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been at loggerheads with the DSS for weeks, following attempts to probe the alleged involvement of the DSS in the $2.1 billion arms deal, popularly called Dasukigate.
The DSS, last week, resisted attempts by the EFCC to arrest its former Director-General, Ita Ekpeyong, alongside the former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayodele Oke.
The DSS Instrument No.1 indicated that the DG was responsible to the president for the proper expenditure and accounting of all funds made available to the service from the security vote or any other source.
It also stated that: “the accounts of the State Security Service shall not be subject to external audit, but the Director General shall, by the first week of March each year, render to the president, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, returns of expenditure and copy the National Security Adviser.”
The Service Instrument also states that: “If any existing service regulation is inconsistent with the provisions of this instrument, the provisions of this Instrument shall prevail and that regulation, shall to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”