SENATORS FIGHT OVER DAURA’S REQUEST FOR FOR CLOSED DOORS GRILLING
Members of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee investigating the face-off involving the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Department of State Services and National Intelligence Agency in an attempt to arrest former Director Generals of the DSS and NIA by the EFCC were sharply divided over the request of DSS boss, Lawal Daura, to conduct the hearing behind closed doors.
The Senate had mandated ad-hoc committee to investigate the face-off between the sister agencies in an attempt to arrest ex-NIA boss, Ayo Oke, and ex-DSS Director General, Ita Ekpeyong.
At the resumption of the hearing, Daura requested for the closed door session of the investigative hearing after the opening remarks by the Chairman of the Panel, Francis Alimikhena.
The committee members were however sharply divided over the request.
Alimikhena turned down the request for the closed door session, arguing that since the matter happened in the open, there is no reason for a closed session on the matter.
According to him: “It is not a thing that should be hidden from people because they fought in the street, which means they don’t have espirit de corps.
“That is my opinion.”
However, a member of the Committee, Senator Ckukwuka Utazi, disagreed with chairman’s request for open session.
Utazi said since most of the committee members have requested for closed door session and “we are in democracy, chairman must respect the position of the majority members of the committee”.
The chairman, who later bowed to the request for the closed session, resolved that each agency should be taken separately in order to prevent altercation at the hearing.
In his own comment, the Acting chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, denied any face-off with sister agencies, explaining that what transpired was that the anti-graft agency officials were not allowed to execute warrant of arrest issued against the former Directors General.
According to Magu: “There was no street fight or dirty fight between the sister agencies.
“What happened was that EFCC officials were prevented from executing warrant of arrest on former Directors General.”
Magu also agreed to the closed session of the investigative hearing on the issue.
Earlier, Alimikhena in his opening remarks, said that the hearing is not meant to witch-hunt anybody, but a fact finding mission to know the root cause of altercation among sister agencies, which can create serious anarchy.