Senate Ad-hoc committee indicts EFCC over security breach
The Nigerian Senate has indicted the EFCC for failing to obtain authorisation from the National Security Adviser, Major- General Babagana Monguno (rtd) and President Muhammadu Buhari in the attempt to arrest former Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, and his counterpart in the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayo Oke in Abuja.
According to Vanguard, the Senate warned that henceforth, search and arrest operation that may be conducted on these agencies must first have presidential approval as it must also be done in a discreet manner rather than in full public glare.
The Senate further recommended that in dealing with sister agencies that are clandestine in nature, the EFCC must conduct its activities with minimum publicity in order to retain the integrity of the institutions.
It also warned that public altercations as witnessed between these agencies must not be allowed to repeat itself.
The report said, however, that though the EFCC acted within the ambit of the law by obtaining all the relevant search warrants from the court of law in a bid to arrest these officers, it “failed to obtain authorisation from the NSA or the president in accordance with section 4 of National Security Agency Act, Cap 74 LFN 2004, before obtaining the search warrant.”
The Senate urged President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief, to as a matter of urgency, investigate the matter to ensure that agency rivalry or public exhibition of envy was nipped in the bud and avoided at all cost.
These were part of the recommendations of the 16- page report of the Senate Ad- hoc Committee, chaired by the Deputy Senate Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena, which was laid last week at plenary before the Senate embarked on Easter break.
The report will be presented for consideration when the senators resume plenary after the Easter celebration.
Part of the report read: “That the EFCC, when dealing with sister agencies that are clandestine in nature, must conduct its activities with minimum publicity in order to retain the integrity of the institutions. Public altercations as witnessed by these agencies must not be allowed to repeat itself.
“Although there is no institution or individual that is above the law or immuned from investigation, however, the security agencies must be properly guarded against blanket investigations as those can jeopardize our security operations and bring our country into disrepute both locally and internationally.
“That search and arrest operation that may be conducted in the future on these agencies must first have presidential approval; it must be done in a discreet manner rather than in full public glare.”
Four months ago, a combined team from the EFCC and Nigeria Police Force (NPF) attempted to arrest the former head of the NIA, Ayo Oke, as well as that of the DSS, Ita Ekpeyong, in their homes located at Mamman Nasir Street in the Asokoro district of Abuja.