Shots have been fired within the barricaded premises of No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, taken over from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the Department of State Services (DSS).
The shots which appeared to have been fired in the air as a warning came just as journalists approached the locked gate of the premises to get close-up video shots.
Police officers attached to the EFCC and other members of staff expressed shock at the development.
They were also glad that no one was hurt.
Sources say that has been a 20-year silent dispute between both agencies over ownership and usage of the premises and efforts to resolve the same have largely remained unsuccessful.
The premises which were originally exclusively used by the DSS, has been shared by both agencies since the establishment of the EFCC by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003.
A press statement by the EFCC described it as a “siege”, the presence of operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) at its Lagos State office.
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.
But the DSS, despite picture and video evidence, denied barring the EFCC personnel.
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.