- Â Agency not cooperating on Mainagate, alleges commission
Paul Obi in Abuja
Notwithstanding several denials of existing cold war between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Service (DSS), the EFCC has said several attempts by the commission to make the DSS send some of its officials to answer questions on the corruption scandal involving the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), were rebuffed.
According to EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the DSS was the only exception among other security agencies that refused to honour EFCCâ€™s invitation in the investigation of corruption case linked to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in the last administration.
According to him, â€œThe attention of the EFCC has been drawn to a report captioned â€˜DSS, EFCC in fresh face-off over invitation of SSS operatives; which report alleged the imaginary feud brewing between the Department of State Services (DSS) and EFCC over the alleged invitation of some DSS operatives, was an attempt by the commission to â€œrubbish the service since the DSS was not answerable to the EFCC.â€™
â€œQuoting an anonymous source, it stated: â€˜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 wonâ€™t allow that because what you allow is what will continue.
â€œIf they (EFCC) need any clarification on anything, they should come to our office. We canâ€™t be humiliated by anybody. Never! If this fallout from the security report is officially requested by the National Assembly, then we wish them luck. We stand by our findings.â€
Uwujaren stated that â€œit is important to state that it is not strange for the EFCC to invite (for questioning) officers of other law enforcement agencies alleged to be complicit in any case being investigated by the commission.
â€œBut there are protocols in doing this; and part of that protocol is to write to the heads of such agencies, requesting that the officer(s) in question be released for interview.â€
He added that â€œin the course of investigating the arms procurement scandal in the Office of the former NSA, 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.
â€œFor the avoidance of doubt, the arms procurement investigation is national in its outlook with alleged culprits cutting across the military, security establishments as well as the political class. It is not targeted at any institution.
â€œConsequently, 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 the substantive Chairman of the EFCC, is not only specious, but pure mischief contrived for motives that are unclear.â€
The revelation came amid reports that the DSS was also not cooperating with the EFCC in unraveling the culpability of government officials in the innocuous reinstatement of former boss of the Presidential Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrashed Maina.’
Mainaâ€™s family had earlier accused the President Muhammadu Buhari administration of being the brain behind Mainaâ€™s return and reinstatement in the Federal Civil Service.
The family had also alleged that Maina was being assisted and guarded by some officials of the DSS, an allegation the agency vehemently denied.
Though Uwujaren would not respond to questions on whether DSS were assisting in the Mainaâ€™s case, THISDAY also learnt that the DSS have refused to provide critical answers to the return of Maina to the country and his questionable reinstatement and promotion as a director in the civil service.
When THISDAY contacted the DSS on the allegation of its refusal to honour the EFCCâ€™s invitation on the Dasukiâ€™s matter, an official of the agency declined to comment, stating that the DSS was yet to receive the position of the EFCC on the case.
The DSS also did not comment on the Mainagate, promising to provide detailed information on the matter on a subsequent date.