DOES STATE SECURITY SERVICE (SSS) HAVE POWERS TO PROFILE AND VET NIGERIANS* Daily Law Tips (Tip 466) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

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Security agencies are created by law and their powers are spelt out by law. No security agency is allowed to go outside its powers and rights. The State Security Services (SSS) also nicknamed Department of Security Service (DSS) was created by the National Security Agencies Act, 1986. State Security Services was created to detect and prevent crimes within Nigeria that may threaten national security of Nigeria. It also has powers to protect and preserve non-militray classified matters concerning internal national security of Nigeria.

Aside the law that created the SSS, later in 1999, the Military Government through Instrument No. 1 of 1999, expanded and specifically listed the functions of SSS, to include;

A. Prevention, detection and investigation of:
1. Threat of Espionage;
2. Threat of Subversion;
3. Threat of Sabotage;
4. Economic crimes of national security dimension;
5. Terrorist activities;
6. Separatist agitations and inter-group conflicts;
7. Threat to law and order

B. Vetting of:
1. Prospective appointees to public offices;
2. Vital and sensitive corporate organizations before their incorporation in Nigeria and continuous covert monitoring of their activities to ensure that they are in line with national security interest;
3. Applicants for Nigerian nationalization and naturalization in Nigeria;

C. Provision of timely advice to Government on all  
       matters of National security interest; and

D. Profiling etc.

My authorities are sections 1, 2(3) and 8 of National Security Agencies Act 1986 and Instrument No. 1 of 1999.

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