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Anti-graft agency explains why it fought with DSS

EFCC says its fight with DSS and NIA personnel was the right call that can be explained.

On Tuesday, November 21, 2017, the EFCC stormed apartments of immediate past Director of the DSS, Ita Ekpeyong and sacked DG of the NIA, Ayodele Oke, in the Asokoro district of Abuja.

The mission was to arrest both men and spirit them out of Asokoro for grilling.

However, it didn’t quite pan out that way.

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EFCC personnel were stopped from gaining access to the property of both men by gun wielding DSS and NIA agents.

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Guns were cocked, muscles were flexed and shouting matches rented the Abuja skyline as agents from the security agencies battled for some supremacy.

Declining invitations

The brawl was arguablythe most discussed subject on Nigerian social media all Tuesday.

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EFCC operatives who spoke to Pulse on the basis of anonymity explained that they had valid warrants of arrest with them.

Former DSS boss Ekpeyong had been on the EFCC radar for alleged complicity in the $2.1B arms scandal which starred former NSA Sambo Dasuki,Pulse was told.

“Both men had declined repeated invitations to our offices. They left us with no choice”,Pulse was told.

Oke was going to be arrested for the N13B found in an Ikoyi apartment back in April.

During an event in Abuja on Wednesday, acting EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu declared that no one was above the law while referencing the ugly incident.

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A bunch of unnamed EFCC operatives told Punch newspaper that DSS and NIA personnel who prevented them from effecting the arrests, went beyond their briefs.

“Mr. Ekpeyong Ita is being investigated for offences bordering on alleged theft and diversion of public funds. Shortly after we arrived, the DSS reinforced its security presence at the property, with the deployment of about 30 armed operatives.

“The refusal of the DSS operatives to allow the EFCC execute valid search and arrest warrants is really worrisome. I don’t know whether it is within their brief to prevent a law enforcement agency from executing arrest or a search warrant on a property belonging to a retired member of staff of the agency.

“The suspect in question is not a serving officer of the DSS, which makes this action particularly reprehensible.”

'No wrong done'

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However, there are reports that the DSS and NIA operatives said they were acting on “orders from above” when they stood in the EFCC’s way. They said they had done no wrong.

After a four-hour standoff, the EFCC withdrew from Asokoro without arresting either of Ekpeyong or Oke.

It is unclear if operatives will return for a second try on some other day.

On Wednesday, November 22, Mamman Nasir street, Asokoro had been deserted and EFCC tapes had been yanked off the buildings of both men.

The heads of EFCC and DSS (Magu and Lawal Daura respectively) have beenengaged in some worrisome rivalry for some time now.

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It was Daura who authored the letter in which Magu was accused of corruption and living above his means.

The letter was addressed to the senate and cost Magu his confirmation--twice before lawmakers.

The presidency has stated that it would keep Magu on as acting EFCC boss, in clear defiance to the position of lawmakers.

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