An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has advised the Department of State Services (DSS) to call Dennis Amachree to order. Amachree, a former assistant director of the DSS, recently averred that the DSS warned the Federal Government (FG) before the Minister of Communications and Digital Planning, Dr. Isa Pantami, was appointed minister.
MURIC’s advice was contained in a press release issued by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday, 23rd April, 2021.
The statement reads:
“Mr. Dennis Amachree, a former assistant director of the DSS, recently revealed that the DSS warned the Federal Government before the Minister of Communications and Digital Planning, Dr. Isa Pantami, was appointed minister. He didn’t stop there. He went ahead to disclose the process of screening prospective government appointees by the DSS (https://theeagleonline.com.ng/fg-senate-told-of-pantamis-religious-bias-before-appointment-ex-dss-director/).
“We believe that Amachree spoke too much and revealed too much. He may not know it, but he has given future nominees tips on the need to cover their tracks. A trained security officer does not behave like this. He must be reserved. He must protect official secrets if indeed he has one. But Amachree allowed his emotions to run wild. His religious sentiment must have beclouded his sense of discipline and made him to forget the need for him to protect his former employer, the DSS. Amachree simply played to the gallery.
“The danger here is that some of the unnecessary information about the modus operandi of the DSS can be used by smart Alecs to beat the system in future. This constitutes a threat to national security. We believe that security officers should be cautious about the kind of information they release in and out of office.
“Therefore, there is need for the DSS to call Amachree to order otherwise others in his shoes may do worse in future. These officers have access to sensitive materials and personal secrets of important personalities. Imagine a DSS officer attached to a governor revealing steps taken on a daily basis to ensure the safety of his principal. Such an officer has not only exposed his principal to danger but has opened a floodgate of security threats to other governors.
“Besides, Amachree was excessively flambouyant. He even attempted to speak for the US Embassy and the US security agencies when he said, ‘Now, people are talking about him and that has come to the attention of the United States Embassy in Nigeria already. Now, they will do a deeper dive into his background. They will catalogue him and now they will start watching him and if it comes to a very critical level, they will place him on a no-fly zone.’
“Must he go this far? Does a ‘shadow’ allow his target to know he has a ‘tail’? He was simply teaching criminals how to go underground and how to beat international security agencies at the game. On second thought, he may be sending a coded message to international security agencies. But we will like Amachree to know that innocent and law-abiding citizens can never be scared by this gimmick. It is too raw, too kindergarten.
“Although it is reassuring that the DSS has issued an official statement disowning Amachree’s position, the Department should go further to advise him on a safer, more professional and more mature way of handling such matters. It is not enough to just distance the DSS from his utterances. He needs to be cautioned.
“A situation like this is also a wake-up call. The need to overhaul the security agencies is long overdue. FG should ensure that no arm of the security agencies is dominated by a particular ethnic group or religion. Focus in this area should be on the DSS and the mobile police.”