EFCC/DSS Clash: Sagay, Falana chew up DSS For Stopping Ekpeyong, Oke’s Arrest

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The Presidency remains expecting the official reports on what transpired between the officials of the Department of State Services and therefore the Economic and financial Crimes Commission in Abuja on Tues, The Spyreporter’s source has learnt.

Officials of the sister agencies were on Tues concerned in an exceedingly showdown when the EFCC operatives tried to arrest a former Director General of the DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong; and a former dg of the National intelligence agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke.

The Spyreporter learnt on Wednesday that the difficulty of the face-off came up at the weekly meeting of the Federal council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier in the day.

A cabinet member, who spoke on condition of obscurity, said council members resolved that the problem might only be handled properly when the submission of official reports by the affected agencies.

The heads of the two agencies don’t seem to be members of FEC.

He said, “The issue came up during the ‘Any other Business’ phase of the council meeting today (Wednesday). the reality of the matter is that as of the time of the meeting, the only information accessible to the govt on the problem was the media report on the matter.

“Government’s business isn’t operated in that manner. So, the resolution was that we are going to look ahead to official reports from the affected agencies.

“That, I am sure, are returning in very soon.”

Report DSS to Buhari, Sagay tells Magu

But the Chairman, Presidential advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), suggested Magu to report what transpired between the EFCC and officials of the DSS to the President.

Sagay, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Wednesday, said Magu ought to write a letter on the clash between the EFCC and the DSS to Buhari.

Officials of the DSS and EFCC were involved in a encounter for over thirteen hours on Tues when the EFCC operatives came across the homes of a former Director General of the DSS, Ita Ekpenyong, and an ex-boss of the National intelligence agency, Ayo Oke, to arrest them.

Ekpenyong, who served because the head of the DSS from 2010 to 2015, had been invited by the EFCC for his alleged role within the arms scam involving a former National Security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), and different service chiefs who have since been arraigned.

Sagay said, “I assume the EFCC ought to refer the matter to the President so he will take action because the President is the overall boss and if individuals are misbehaving like that, preventing agencies from doing their work, then there ought to be a penalty for misconduct.”

The PACAC chairman additionally described the debacle as unfortunate, adding that nobody was higher than the law.

Sagay said, “We all recognize that the law empowers the EFCC to analyze, arrest and prosecute and they have the right to interrogate and invite you and if you refuse to come back, they’ll arrest you. So, anybody, who refuses, that’s engaging in lawlessness and is making an attempt to turn the country into a chaotic state of lawlessness that is certainly not sensible for the country.

“No one is immune from arrest except the President, Vice-President, governor and deputy governor.”

Sagay disagreed with those saying the EFCC ought to have written to the DSS before trying to arrest the former dg.

He said, “The DSS procedures don’t follow the laws of the land. The EFCC Act doesn’t need the agency writing to anybody first. they can’t build a law that supersedes that of the National Assembly. the excusesifications|the reasons} of the DSS are just how of covering up sheer lawlessness.”

It’s gross disregard for court order–SAN

On his part, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), berated the DSS for obstructing the EFCC.

He further declared that the incident mustn’t be treated as a mere ‘inter-agency face-off’ but a egregious disregard for court orders.

Falana said, “It is wrong to look at what occurred as an inter-agency face-off. Since warrants of arrest and search were with validity issued by a magistrate Court, the prevention of the arrest was a clash between freedom and rule of law. the security personnel who protected the suspects from arrest committed the offence of obstruction of justice punishable under the EFCC Act.”

The activist said since the Presidency had said the EFCC was liberated to investigate the former NIA boss, the DSS had no reason to stop the anti-graft agency from doing its work.

Also civil rights groups delineated as shameful, the clash between the officers of the DSS and the EFCC.

The groups, together with the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, said the clash was a humiliation to the President.

The CDHR described the clash as ugly and nauseating, asking the DSS Director-General, Lawan Daura, to caution his men.

The CDHR President, Malachy Ugwummadu, said this on Wednesday, noting that the DSS men also allegedly cordoned off and prevented the arrest of Oke, a former dg of the National intelligence agency.

Ugwummadu said, “Yesterday’s face-off between the 2 security agencies was dishonourable and unethical; such criminal conduct has consequences.

“We express worry over the overzealousness of the DSS officers and their less-than-average conduct as public officers. we need acceptable sanctions to avoid a future incidence.

“The continual and surreptitious approach where DSS officers mask themselves is also turning into very worrisome.

“We thus turn the dg to tame the excesses and allow enforcement agencies to hold out their functions without hindrance to avoid any further form of embarrassment that might send the wrong signal.”

Also a security analyst, Ben Okezie, said the DSS had been antagonising the anti-graft commission, noting that the lawyer General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had didn’t resolve the matter in a wise manner.

He asked Buhari to intervene and sanction the 2 agencies for ridiculing one another.

Okezie said, “It is extremely unfortunate that the 2 security agencies cannot see eye to eye; the DSS has been sound on the EFCC and therefore the attorney General has not been handling the problems well.

“In different climes, such things don’t happen, you hardly see the Federal Bureau of Investigation antagonising different agencies. The President ought to intervene and caution them. He ought to rebuke or sanction any officer who puts his office to ridicule,” he counselled.

A severity consultant, Lt. Col. Sola Oremade (retd.), described the clash as a shame and an indictment on the 2 agencies and needed the dismissal of their leadership.

“This may be a shame and therefore the incident is indefensible. it’s ridicule to the present government and an indictment on the leadership of the 2 security agencies. The heads of the EFCC and therefore the DSS ought to be ravaged for this shameful show and undiscipline,” he noted.

Oremade said the incident indicated that the President had lost control of his security officers that he said was dangerous.

Ex-Director defends DSS

But a former Director of the DSS, Mr. mike Ejiofor, said the EFCC had no right to investigate how the DSS funds were spent.

He said the Act establishing the DSS clearly stated that only the President may investigate the agency.

Ejiofor said, “I don’t have a haul investigating anybody however due process should be followed. By the DSS Instrument 1 of 1999, no person or agency is sceptered to investigate the spending or operational matter of the DSS except the President. it’s only the President which will enkindle investigation. The DSS makes returns of its spending to the President annually.

“I am shocked with what’s happening. we have ne’er had it before. He (Magu) has no power or mandate to investigate the spending of the DSS. it’s not done anyplace in the world.

“If he had the power, he ought to have gone to the dg DSS. possibly he wants to settle scores because he was indicted by the DSS report that barred his confirmation. it’s ne’er happened in the history of this nation before.”

No going back on arrest of Ekpeyong, Oke –Magu

Meanwhile, Magu has said there’s no going back on the planned arrest of Ekpeyong and Oke.

He same no one, despite however highly placed, was higher than the law of the land.

The EFCC boss spoke when he attended the inauguration of the Audit Committee on the Recovery and Management of stolen Assets within and outside Nigeria at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He claimed that the commission had concrete proof against the former DSS and NIA heads.

“There should be reasons, strong reasons before we choose an arrest. Never, Never, i’m not discouraged at all, rather, it energises me to do a lot of and i am telling you, no one is above the law,” Magu said.

He said he wasn’t discouraged by the Tues face-off between his men and DSS officials.

“We don’t seem to be discouraged at all. The law should take its course, no one is above the law,” he said.

Why DSS stopped the arrest–Source

On Wednesday, the DSS kept mum on the refusal of its operatives to allow the EFCC officials to arrest Ekpeyong and Oke.

But a security source said the EFCC was prevented from arresting Ekpeyong as a result of the anti-graft agency didn’t follow the due process.

The source stated that the EFCC have to be compelled to have written to the DSS on the invitation of Ekpeyong.

“The EFCC is aware of that the DSS operatives are guarding Ekpeyong. the normal issue is for it to write to the EFCC, instead of resorting to lawlessness. The anti-graft agency ought to learn to embrace the rule of law,” the DSS source said.

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