EFCC can’t probe financial transactions in DSS, says security expert
Former Director General of the DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong
A security expert and former Director of the Department of State Security DSS, Mr. Mike Ejiofor has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, lacks the powers to probe or make inquiries into the financial transactions of the DSS, as a security agency.
But in a swift intervention, frontline legal practitioner and former Executive Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, says section eight of the 1999 Constitution provides that every agency of the government must go through financial audit control, insisting that the DSS is not an exemption.
It would be recalled that operatives of the DSS had Tuesday morning prevented operatives of the anti-graft agency from arresting former Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong and former boss of National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayodele Oke, a development political watchers say has deepened the feud between the leadership of the two agencies.
Ejiofor, who spoke in Abuja Tuesday, cited Instrument 1 of 1999, which provides that only the President of the country has the powers to inquire into the financial transactions of the DSS and those of its officers.
According to him, it was wrong for the EFCC to have obtained an arrest warrant from a court for the arrest of the former DG of the DSS, which he said was provocative and insulting, as it contradicts the Instrument 1 of 1999 of the DSS.
Ejiofor, who clearly stated that his views on the matter were strictly his personal opinion, insisted that it was wrong for the EFCC to have invaded the home of the former DSS boss early in the morning to effect his arrest.
Meanwhile, Dr. Amadi, who insists that no public officer incumbent or former is insulated from being investigated, noted that since the DSS DG does not enjoy any immunity, he cannot be insulated from being investigated.
The ex-NERC-boss argued that even the President and State Governors, who enjoy constitutional immunity, enjoy such immunity from being prosecuted so as not to distract them from the crucial job of running the Federation or the States as the case might be.
He however pointed out that such constitutional immunity does not cover them from being investigated.
Dr. Amadi however frowned at the Gestapo or gangster approach of the EFCC operatives in arresting the former bosses of the DSS and the NIA, insisting that the approach should be more refined and civil.
Meanwhile, Ekpenyong has described moves by the EFFC to arrest him as pure witch hunt and political vendetta.
Sources say that the decision of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu to insist on the arrest of the former DG of the DSS was due to his role in the report that indicted Magu, which led to his non confirmation by the Senate.
They also argued that in all the arms deal saga, which led to the arrest and detention of many people since 2015, the DSS was never mentioned, wondering why its former DG would be invited at this point in time to answer questions in that regard.
It was gathered that the former DG headed the panel that made the report to the Senate, which indicted Magu, thus forestalling his confirmation as a substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency by the Senate, not minding that President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded his name twice to the upper legislative chamber.
But some other political observers have also described President Buhari’s seeming indifference and silence on the matter as worrisome; a development they say is not good for the image of the country.
Recall that EFCC operatives had Tuesday laid ambush around Ekpenyong’s home at Number 46 Mamman Nasir, Asokoro, as early as 6 am to pick him up to answer questions on what he knows about the amount of money the agency collected from the office of the embattled National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki rtd.