The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tuesday, raised the alarm that personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) had barricaded the entrance of its Ikoyi office with an armoured personnel carriers (APC).
EFCC Head, Media, and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, in a press statement said: “Operatives of the Lagos Command of the EFCC arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, this morning, May 30, 2023, to be denied entry by agents of the DSS, who had barricaded the entrance with armoured personnel carriers.
“This development is strange to the Commission given that we have cohabited with the DSS in that facility for 20 years without incident.”
Uwujaren further stated that, “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.”
However, in a swift response the DSS Public Relations Officers (PRO), Dr Peter Afunanya, said it was not correct that the Service barred EFCC personnel from entering its office.
According to Afunanya, “The attention of the 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 a common knowledge. It is a historical fact. Check it out.
“There is no rivalry between the Service and the EFCC over and about 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.”