Arms deal probe: EFCC says DSS operatives refusing to honour invitation

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) have failed to honour its summon concerning the arms deal probe.

It also described as “specious” reports that it summoned the DSS operatives as a revenge for the secret police’s indictment of Ibrahim Magu, the commission’s acting chairman.

The DSS had, last year, indicted Magu of corruption in its report to the senate. As a result, the lawmakers are yet to confirm him as the EFCC chairman.

In a statement on Tuesday, Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesperson, said the summon of DSS operatives has nothing to do with the DSS report.

He said the commission is backed by law to invite operatives of any law enforcement agency “for questioning” in the course of its investigation.

“Part of that protocol (for the invitation) is to write to the heads of such agencies, requesting that the officer(s) in question be released to be interviewed,” the statement read.

“In the course of investigating the arms procurement scandal, the office of the commission has had cause to request the release of officers of other security agencies, including the Nigerian army, the Nigerian air force, the Nigerian navy and now the DSS, for questioning.

“All but the DSS have acceded to this request.

“The arms procurement investigation is a national issue in view point of the alleged culprits cutting across the military, security establishments as well as the political class. It is not targeted at any institution.

“Consequently, the insinuation about a revenge-instigated investigation of the DSS by the EFCC over its role in the senate refusal to confirm Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the EFCC, is not only specious, but pure mischief contrived for motives that are unclear.”

An unnamed DSS official had been quoted by the Nigerian Tribune as saying: “What are they (EFCC) trying to do? Audit our operations or what? Did the Service report any financial infraction to them and call for their intervention? It is just a case of overzealousness and lack of professionalism and we won’t allow that because what you allow is what will continue.

“If they (EFCC) need any clarification on anything, they should come to our office. We can’t be humiliated by anybody. Never! If this is fallout from the security report officially requested by the National Assembly, then we wish them luck. We stand by our findings.”

SOURCE: The Cable

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