EFCC Vows to Effect Arrest of Former DSS, NIA Bosses Notwithstanding Resistance
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu on Wednesday vowed that his agency would ensure the arrest of a former Director-General of the Department of State Security (DSS), Ita Ekpeyong and a former Head of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke.
The anti-graft agency had met with stiff resistance in its bid to arrest both Ekpeyong and Oke on Tuesday with DSS operatives reportedly threatening to shoot at EFCC officials.
Oke is wanted in connection with the huge cash discovery at an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos which the EFCC traced to Oke and his wife. The NIA under Oke claimed the apartment was used as a safe house and the money was approved for covert operations. EFCC sources claim the former NIA boss has refused to honour the EFCC’s invitation for over 3 weeks.
Ekpeyong on the other hand is being investigated for offences bordering on alleged theft and diversion of public funds in the arms deal saga involving a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) and other service chiefs, who have since been arraigned.
While speaking with newsmen after attending the inauguration of the committee on assets recovery by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, Magu stressed that the EFCC had concrete evidence against the former heads of DSS and NIA.
The EFCC chairman also noted that no one was above the law and that the law must take its course against both Oke and Ekpeyong.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and some senior lawyers on Wednesday condemned the action of the security officials attached to Ekpeyong and Oke who obstructed their arrest.
One of the lawyers, Mr Sebastine Hon (SAN) said,
“The officials of the DSS and the NIA have no right, moral or legal, to prevent the EFCC from performing its statutory functions. Their action amounts to a breach of their oaths of office and their avowed allegiance to the Constitution and the rule of law.”
The Nation reports that SERAP, in a statement issued by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale, said the face-off was contrary to Nigerian law and international standards.
The organisation added:
“Nothing more fundamentally undermines public confidence in the fight against grand corruption and trust in government than to see state security agencies paid for by public funds apparently aiding and abetting those suspected of engaging in corruption to escape justice.”