Tinubu Orders DSS To Vacate EFCC Office Immediately
President Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday, directed the Department of State Services to immediately vacate the Ikoyi office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Lagos.
“The President gave the directive when reports that DSS officials stormed the EFCC office located on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi on Tuesday, preventing officials of the anti-graft agency from accessing their work place, was brought to his attention,” a statement signed by the President’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, read on Tuesday evening.
The statement was titled: ‘President Tinubu directs DSS to immediately vacate EFCC office.’
DSS operatives stormed the EFCC office around 7am on Tuesday, and refused to leave despite dialogue between operatives of both agencies.
Tuesday’s development followed a simmering rivalry between the DSS and the EFCC over the ownership of the building.
The EFCC had expressed shock at the manner in which operatives of its sister agency denied its operatives entry into its Lagos office.
The spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, “Operatives of the Lagos Command of the EFCC, arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, this morning, Tuesday, 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.
“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 wider 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, the DSS denied the claim, describing it as “not true.”
The DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, said, “It is not correct that the DSS barricaded EFCC from entering its office. No. It is not true.
“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 common knowledge; it is a historical fact. Check it out.”
Reacting to the development late Tuesday, the President said, “If there were issues between the two important agencies of government, they would be resolved amicably.”