President Tinubu expects both agencies to resolve the matter amicably.
In a recent development, President Bola Tinubu has directed the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to immediately vacate the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) located in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The President’s directive came after reports surfaced that DSS officials had stormed the EFCC office, preventing the anti-graft agency’s personnel from accessing their workplace.
In his statement via his media aide, Tunde Rahman, President Tinubu emphasised the need for a peaceful resolution if any issues existed between these crucial government agencies. He expressed his expectation that the matter would be resolved amicably.
The incident occurred on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, when DSS operatives reportedly obstructed EFCC officials from entering their office premises in Ikoyi, Lagos. However, the DSS has denied these claims, asserting that such an incident never took place.
What is going on between EFCC and DSS in Lagos?
Both the EFCC and the DSS have been sharing the office space for approximately two decades. This facility previously served as the headquarters of the now-defunct National Security Organisation (NSO), which preceded the establishment of the DSS.
EFCC spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren condemned the actions of the DSS agents in a statement released on Tuesday in Abuja.
Uwujaren stated that this incident had broader implications for the fight against economic and financial crimes. He expressed the EFCC’s surprise at the actions taken by the DSS, who had blocked the entrance to the EFCC’s office using armored personnel carriers.
Uwujaren emphasised that this unprecedented development disrupted the operations of the EFCC at its largest hub, which housed over 500 personnel, numerous exhibits, and many detainees.
As a result, court hearings scheduled for the day had to be canceled, and many individuals invited for questioning were left unattended. The spokesperson also raised concerns about the well-being and rights of the detainees who were now lacking proper care.
Uwujaren emphasised that this siege was contrary to the collaborative efforts required between agencies working under the same government and for the nation’s benefit, particularly at a time when discussions were ongoing regarding the matter.
Dr. Peter Afunaya, the spokesperson for the DSS, refuted any claims of a rift with the EFCC. In a statement addressing the issue, Afunaya stated that there was no rivalry between the two organisations.
He urged the media not to fabricate imaginary rivalries, highlighting that the DSS and the EFCC were partners working together for the nation’s welfare.
Afunaya clarified that the DSS was simply occupying its own facility while carrying out its official and statutory responsibilities. He dismissed the insinuation of any controversy surrounding No 15A Awolowo Road, the office location in question.