Connect with us

Headline

DSS Raids Headquarters Of EFCC, Carts Away Sensitive Documents

Published

on

 

DSS Reportedly Raids Headquarters Of Anti-Corruption Body, EFCC Overnight, Carts Away Sensitive Documents

Officials of Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services raided the headquarters of sister agency Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday night.

SaharaReporters learnt that the raid lasted till early Saturday morning.

The action was undertaken under the cover of the night to prevent public knowledge of the action while the staff of EFCC were instructed not to mention anything concerning the invitation to the public.

According to an insider, the DSS is working for a particular interest very important to the president beyond what the public is made to believe.

However, another source said it may be linked to the recent closure of the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos by the DSS.

“I heard the raid and partisanship of the DSS was the reason why they raised an alarm yesterday (Saturday) that some of their disgruntled officers are planning to shame the agency and embarrass the leadership,” the source said.

Some of the investigators handling the case of former Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle are to be summoned by the DSS for interrogation, it was further learnt.

“That is actually intimidation, symptomatic of what former Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami did during Ibrahim Magu’s time as EFCC chairman to get several suspects off the hook,” the source said.

It was revealed that Matawalle was being investigated by the commission in two separate cases. One of them is a case involving his private company which got money from the National Security Adviser’s office without executing the contract, which was investigated under the chairmanship of Magu. The other case involves the alleged fraud committed by Matawalle while in office.

Someone close to President Bola Tinubu also informed our reporter that the president is also aware of the moves by the former governor to stop the anti-corruption body from probing him, which includes obtaining court orders to restrain the commission and other agencies from carrying out their investigations.

President Bola Tinubu Wednesday suspended Bawa from office indefinitely.

According to a release from the presidency on Wednesday, Bawa’s suspension is “to allow for proper investigation into his conduct while in office. This follows weighty allegation of abuse of office leveled against him.

“Mr Bawa has been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Director, Operations in the commission, who will oversee the affairs of the Office of the Chairman pending the conclusion of investigation.”

Bawa’s suspension came days after Tinubu suspended the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, from office.

At the time of filing this report, it was unclear what the agenda of Tinubu and DSS were regarding the detention of Bawa and the carting away of sensitive documents relating to the commission’s investigations.

Wilson Uwajaren, the spokesperson for the EFCC, did not answer calls from SaharaReporters nor reply to the text messages sent to his mobile line.

Last month, operatives of the DSS stormed the Lagos office of the EFCC, preventing officials of the anti-graft agency from gaining access to their office in Ikoyi.

SaharaReporters learnt from top sources in both agencies that over 500 EFCC officials were locked out from resuming work due to office ownership disagreements.

“The EFCC officers are shocked; they have been using the building for more than 20 years. Several suspects are there and there are fears that some might have been illegally released,” a top source had said.

“They have summoned a meeting of both sides.”

President Tinubu later ordered the DSS to vacate the EFCC office immediately.

He said if there were issues between the “two important agencies of government”, they should be resolved amicably.

Reacting to the incident, the EFCC in a statement on its official Facebook page described the siege as shocking, saying it had wider implications for Nigeria’s fight against economic and financial crimes.

“The operatives of the Lagos Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, this morning, May 30, 2023, to be denied entry by agents of the Department of State Services, 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,” the statement read.

 

But the DSS in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, denied barricading the EFCC office.

The statement said the Service was not in any fight with the EFCC over the Lagos property.

The DSS statement read, “The attention of the Department of State Services (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.”

The DSS on Saturday warned persons and groups whom it said it had identified to be planning to stage “campaigns of calumny against it and the Nigerian Government over the suspension and subsequent investigation of Mr Godwin Emefiele.”

The DSS through its spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya, said in a release that the groups intended to gather at different points in Abuja and Lagos with placards calling for the immediate release of the suspended Central Bank governor, Emefiele.

Afunanya said, “The groups intend to gather at different points in Abuja and Lagos with placards depicting the Service and the Federal Government in bad light as well as calling for the immediate release of Emefiele.

“The Service therefore warns those behind this plot to desist forthwith. Meanwhile the service says it has granted the family of Emefiele, medical officials and appropriate persons access to him, right from the day he was taken in and obtained a court order to do so.

“The Service implements Standards Operating Procedures on Suspect Handling and Investigation professionally.”

SaharaReporters earlier in the week reported that Emefiele identified the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, as an accomplice in the Naira redesign scam that rocked the country some months ago.

SaharaReporters had learnt on Thursday that Emefiele who is being detained by the country’s secret police, the Department of State Services, was the reason why the embattled EFCC chairman was also invited and detained.

SaharaReporters on Wednesday night reported that the DSS invited Bawa to its headquarters at about 9:02 pm.

He was thereafter grilled by the operatives of the secret police.

This comes hours after he was suspended indefinitely by President Bola Tinubu.

Bawa’s invitation and grilling by the DSS came days after Emefiele was arrested and flown from Lagos to Abuja to also face interrogations over alleged corruption and abuse of office.

SaharaReporters had learnt that Emefiele and Bawa – both undergoing interrogation – were being quizzed on sundry issues including the Naira redesign scam.

Headline

Fagbemi warns against obstructing EFCC from performing its lawful duty

Published

on

 

The Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN has warned against obstructing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from carrying out its lawful duty .

Fagbemi’s warning is contained in a statement in Abuja.

“This is a matter of very grave concern, it is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigations into any matter, regardless of status.

“Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC, but to honourably answer their invitation.

“A situation where public officials who are themselves subject of protection by law enforcement agents will set up a stratagem of obstruction to the civil and commendable efforts of the EFCC to perform its duty is to say the least, insufferably disquieting’’.

He added that running away from the law will not resolve issues at stake but only exacerbate them.

“Nigeria has a vibrant judicial system that is capable of protecting everyone who follows the rule of law in seeking protection.

“I therefore encourage anyone who has been invited by the EFCC or any other agency to immediately toe the path of decency and civility by honouring such invitation instead of embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism.

 

“This can only put our country in bad light before the rest of the world’’.

He said institutions of state should be allowed to function effectively and efficiently.

“I stand for the rule of law and will promptly call EFCC, and indeed any other agency to order when there is an indication of any transgressions of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian by any of the agencies’’.

NAN reports that the EFCC had on Wednesday warned members of the public that it was a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.

Section 38(2)(a(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties. Culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years.

The warning , the EFCC said, became necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC.

On several occasions, the anti graft agency said, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

Continue Reading

Headline

Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

Published

on

 

Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending