The Presidency is still waiting for the official reports on what transpired between the officials of the Department of State Services and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja on Tuesday.
Officials of the sister agencies were on Tuesday involved in a showdown when the EFCC operatives attempted to arrest a former Director General of the DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong; and a former DG of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke.
According to THE PUNCH Wednesday the issue of the face-off came up at the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier in The Day.
A cabinet member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said council members resolved that the issue could only be handled properly after the submission of official reports by the affected agencies.
The heads of the two agencies are not members of FEC.
He said, “The issue came up during the ‘Any Other Business’ segment of the council meeting today (Wednesday). The truth of the matter is that as of the time of the meeting, the only information available to the government on the issue was the media report on the matter.
“Government’s business is not operated in that manner. So, the resolution was that we will wait for official reports from the affected agencies.
“That, I am sure, will be coming in very soon.”
Report DSS to Buhari, Sagay tells Magu
But the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), advised Magu to report what transpired between the EFCC and officials of the DSS to the President.
Sagay, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Wednesday, said Magu should write a letter on the clash between the EFCC and the DSS to Buhari.
Officials of the DSS and EFCC were involved in a showdown for over 13 hours on Tuesday when the EFCC operatives arrived at the homes of a former Director General of the DSS, Ita Ekpenyong, and an ex-boss of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, to arrest them.
Ekpenyong, who served as the head of the DSS from 2010 to 2015, had been invited by the EFCC for his alleged role in the arms scam involving a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), and other service chiefs who have since been arraigned.
Sagay said, “I think the EFCC should refer the matter to the President so that he can take action because the President is the overall boss and if people are misbehaving like that, preventing agencies from doing their work, then there should be a penalty for misconduct.”
The PACAC chairman also described the fiasco as unfortunate, adding that no one was above the law.
Sagay said, “We all know that the law empowers the EFCC to investigate, arrest and prosecute and they have the right to interrogate and invite you and if you refuse to come, they can arrest you. So, anybody, who refuses, that is engaging in lawlessness and is trying to turn the country into a chaotic state of lawlessness which is certainly not good for the country.
“No one is immune from arrest except the President, Vice-President, governor and deputy governor.”
Sagay disagreed with those saying the EFCC should have written to the DSS before attempting to arrest the former DG.
He said, “The DSS procedures do not supersede the laws of the land. The EFCC Act does not require the agency writing to anybody first. They cannot make a law that supersedes that of the National Assembly. The excuses of the DSS are just a way of covering up sheer lawlessness.”