Skip to main content

You’re Not Above The Law, RULAAC Kicks After Nigerian Secret Police, DSS Boss Knocked Human Rights Advocacy

December 5, 2022

RULAAC is not-for-profit non-governmental human rights advocacy organisation that seeks to promote law enforcement accountability among others.

The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has knocked the Department of State Services (DSS), saying the secret police are not above the law.

RULAAC is not-for-profit non-governmental human rights advocacy organisation that seeks to promote law enforcement accountability among others.

The organisation noted that the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi was recently quoted to have rubbished advocacy for human rights.

According to RULAAC, Bichi was quoted in several media reports to have made the statement during the graduation ceremony of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 15 at the National Institute for Security Studies in Abuja.

“Those canvassing for human rights are just discouraging the security agencies. Many of these people are doing disservice to the country. My service will not allow anyone to mess up this country,” Bichi was quoted as saying.

However, Okechukwu Nwanguma, Executive Director of RULAAC in a statement obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday, said people “must continue to make the point that law enforcement and security agencies are created by law to enforce the law”. 

“They are given enormous powers which are regulated by law, especially, human rights provisions. Law enforcement agencies cannot go outside the law to enforce the law. Human rights are meant to regulate and provide safeguards against police/law enforcement exercise of powers.

“Human rights set the limits to the exercise of police powers.  Law enforcement and human rights are not meant to be (and are not) in conflict.

“They are mutually inclusive. It is said that the police and indeed, law enforcement agencies, are designed and contemplated to be the guardians and protectors of human rights and not their violators,” he further noted.


“Why do the DSS perceive human rights as impeding their job?” he asked.

Explaining why, Nwanguma said, “It is because they think that law enforcement and human rights are in conflict. They therefore, set their minds on abusing their powers and violating human rights. 

“They feel that they are above the law or in fact, law unto themselves. This is why they frequently and recklessly disregard court orders and continue to hide under the fallacy that national security is primary over the rule of law.

“This mindset needs to be changed through vigorous and consistent law enforcement and human rights education. Successive leaderships of the NPF (Nigeria Police Force) have acknowledged the principle that the Police is created and regulated by law.

“Addressing a public gathering in Abuja in December 2005, then Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, stated the doctrine of the Police as follows: ‘It is obvious that the duties of the Nigeria Police Force are a direct consequence of the powers conferred on it by law. It becomes mandatory that the law must regulate the performance of its duties relating to arrest, detention, search, and seizure and the use of force. In other words, these duties must be exercised strictly within the limits prescribed for the Police by law. And any form of exercise of these powers which does not strictly conform to the prescriptions of the law can have unpleasant consequences for the Police Force (as a corporate entity, as well as for the individual Police personnel).’”