The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has described as a “siege”, the presence of operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) at its Lagos State office.
“This development is strange to the Commission given that we have cohabited with the DSS in that facility for 20 years without incident,” the anti-graft spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement.
Earlier, Channels Television reported that DSS operatives stormed the EFCC office located on 15 Awolowo Road in the Ikoyi area of the state, barring EFCC officials from entry the premises.
The DSS in a statement by its spokesman, Peter Afunanya had said is not correct that the secret police barricaded EFCC from entering its office. “The Service is only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility,” Afunanya said.
However, the EFCC, while maintaining silence on the ownership of the building, described the action of the DSS as shocking, noting that the Commission had cohabited with the DSS in the same facility for 20 years without any fracas.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.”