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Why EFCC Lacks Powers To Arrest & Investigate Ita Ekpenyong – Ex DSS DG, Mike Ejiofor

Ex DSS DG, Mike Ejiofor
Ex DSS DG, Mike Ejiofor

The former Director of the Department of State Service, DSS, Mike Ejiofor, has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had no right to investigate how the DSS funds were spent.

He said this while reacting to the Tuesday’s faceoff between the two agencies. According to him, the Act establishing the DSS clearly stated that only the President could investigate the agency. Accoring to Mr. Ejiofor said;

“I don’t have a problem investigating anybody but due process must be followed. “By the DSS Instrument 1 of 1999, no person or agency is empowered to investigate the spending or operational matter of the DSS except the President.

“It is only the President that can ask for investigation. The DSS makes returns of its spending to the President annually. “I am surprised with what is happening . We have never had it before. He (Magu ) has no power or mandate to investigate the spending of the DSS. It is not done anywhere in the world.

“If he had the power, he should have gone to the DG DSS. Possibly he wants to settle scores because he was indicted by the DSS report which barred his confirmation. “It has never happened in the history of this nation before.”

Former DG of DSS, Ita Ekpenyong
Former DG of DSS, Ita Ekpenyong

Consequently, the immediate former Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Ita Ekpenyong has reacted to his failed arrest by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), over alleged involvement in arm purchase for the Nigerian Military. An Unnamed source close to the former DGSS told Vanguard that the attempt to arrest Ita was strange, despicable and an afterthought since Ekpenyong was never invited or questioned in relation to the arms probe.

He explained that the former DG of the DSS has no business buying military equipment for the Military since they have their laid down procedures and policies. According to him, two years after the Presidential Panel on the Arms Probe was inaugurated by President Buhari, no mention was made of the involvement of the DSS so it was strange when the EFCC came from nowhere to arrest the innocent man. He noted that since he has handed over to Mallam Lawal Daura, if the EFCC needs clarification on any matter that is within its jurisdiction, it should request such information from the current DGSS. Where the current DGSS cannot answer then he can be invited to make such clarification.

“EFCC had never before now invited or questioned the former DG on any criminal breach, only for its operatives to barge into his home, with a view to arresting him as a common criminal. Ekpenyong had made it clear that the DSS under his watch had no role whatsoever to play in the arms purchase since it was not within its remit to acquire arms for the military.

The DSS played no role at all in the arms purchase and that is the truth. The DG served this country faithfully and transparently and since leaving office in 2015, nobody has had any reason to accuse him of taking anything that does not belong to him. As a tradition, the DSS makes returns to the Presidency on March 1 every year on its operations and nothing done by the agency can, therefore, be hidden from the government.

Even assuming that there are issues with DSS management, which the EFCC needed to investigate, the current DSS DG is there to answer to such matters without storming Ekpeyong,s home with guns in the wee hours of the day. The equipment that were procured to secure this country during his tenure are there with their papers and the vendors are known. So, nothing is hidden.

It is apparent that the EFCC is either actuated by ulterior motives to intimidate and blackmail the DSS through orchestrated media trial or simply trying to dent the image of the Service and its personnel for reasons best known to them."

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