May 30, (THEWILL) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, said the siege on its Lagos Office by the Department of Security Services (DSS), was a threat to the fight against economic and financial crimes in the country.
THEWILL earlier reported that operatives of the DSS, on Tuesday, laid siege on the EFCC office at Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, preventing staff of the anti-graft agency from gaining access to the facility.
The EFCC, in a statement on its verified social media handles, said the operatives of its Lagos Command arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, on Tuesday morning, to be denied entry by agents of the Department of State Services, 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 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 reaction, the DSS, in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, denied the allegation.
Afunanya said the DSS did not block the EFCC office but rather occupied the DSS section of the building.
According to him, there is no rivalry between the two agencies as both are working for the good of the country.
“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.
“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.
“No. It is not true. The Service is only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility,” he added.
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