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Tinubu directs DSS to vacate EFCC’s Lagos office

By Christopher Oji, Molly Kilete, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja 

President Bola Tinubu has directed the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to immediately vacate the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Ikoyi, Lagos.

In a statement issued by Tunde Rahman from State House Presidential Villa, Abuja, the president gave the directive when reports that DSS officials stormed the EFCC office located on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos yesterday, preventing officials of the anti-graft agency from accessing their work place, was brought to his attention.

“The president said if there were issues between the two important agencies of government, they would be resolved amicably”, the statement read. 

The EFCC, yesterday, raised the alarm that the DSS had barricaded the entrance of its Lagos office, at No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, with an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), thereby, preventing officials of the anti graft commission from doing their duties.

Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, reacting to the development, yesterday, said: “Our officials arrived office today, 30th of May, and we were prevented from entering our offices; this development is strange to the Commission, given that we have cohabited with the DSS in that facility for 20 years without incident.

“By denying operatives access to their offices, the commission’s operations at its largest hub with over 500 personnel, hundreds of exhibits, and many suspects in detention have been disrupted. Cases scheduled for court hearing, today, have been aborted, while many suspects, who had been invited for questioning, are left unattended. 

“Even more alarming is that suspects in detention are left without care, with grave implications for their rights as inmates. All of these have wilder implications for the nation’s fight against economic and financial crimes. The siege is inconsistent with the synergy expected of agencies working for the same government and nation, especially when there are ongoing discussions on the matter”.

Meanwhile, the DSS denied media reports that its armed operatives engaged personnel of the EFCC in a battle over the ownership of the building located in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State. It also denied that its operatives prevented officials of EFCC from gaining access into their Lagos office.

DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunaya, in a statement, yesterday, said its operatives were only carrying out an official duty in the building. Afunaya said the clarification became necessary, following reports of palpable tension early yesterday morning, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State, when some armed operatives of the DSS allegedly barricaded the entrance leading to the EFCC zonal office in the state.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to some media reports that it barricaded the EFCC from entering its Lagos office. It is not correct that the DSS barricaded EFCC from entering its office. No. It is not true.

The Service is only occupying its own facility, where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility.

“By the way, there is no controversy over No. 15A Awolowo Road as being insinuated by the media. Did the EFCC tell you it is contesting the ownership of the building? I will be surprised if it is contesting the ownership. Awolowo Road was NSO headquarters. SSS/DSS started from there. It is common knowledge. It is a historical fact. Check it out.

“There is no rivalry between the Service and the EFCC over anything. Please do not create any imaginary one. They are great partners working for the good of the nation. Dismiss any falsehood of a fight”.

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