Senate: EFCC, DSS Undermining National Security

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• Confirms three NDDC nominees

Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The Senate thursday accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Service (DSS) of undermining national security by engaging in the avoidable clash which occurred in November 2017.

The upper legislative chamber also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and quell the unnecessary rivalry between both agencies in order to avoid embarrassing the country locally and internationally.

The position of the Senate followed the consideration of the report of the ad-hoc committee on the investigation of “arrest episodes of November 21, 2017, among between officers of the EFCC, NIA, and DSS.”

The committee was set up following a public clash between operatives of the EFCC and DSS in a botched bid by the anti-graft agency to arrest a former Director General of DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, and a former Director of the National Intelligence Agency, Mr. Ayo Oke,

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Francis Alimikhena, said due to the clear acrimony between the heads of the EFCC and DSS, the meetings had to be conducted separately.

“The committee had to conduct hearings in camera and hold separate meetings with the security agencies. This lack of cooperation and cohesion is reflected at a secondary level with the EFCC and NSA belonging to one group while the NIA and DSS belong to another group, with no espirit de corps between the two groups,” he said.

He added that while politicians can disagree with one another, it is a sacrilege for security agencies to be at loggerheads.
“The negative concomitant effect is the insecurity we have in this country. The problem of herdsmen, killings, kidnappings, and terrorism can never be resolved except there is cooperation among sister security agencies,” he said.

Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna APC) in his contribution, urged the president to call his appointees to order.
“The country has suffered enough, bloodshed in every part. Security agencies must be conscious of the need to work together for the betterment of the country. Personalities that man these agencies are involved in fighting against one another, and at the end of the day, the criminals, the violence, the killings continue,” Sani said.

In another development, the Senate confirmed the appointment of three nominees into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The new appointees are Mr. Chuka Ama Nwauwa (Imo State), Mr. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa (Ondo State) and Mr. Nwogu N. Nwogu (Abia State).

This followed the recommendation of its Committee on Niger Delta.
President Buhari’s letter requesting their confirmation was read at plenary on April 11, 2017.

It was however caught up in the impasse on the confirmation of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, who was twice rejected by the Senate, but has been kept in his office by the president.
The Senate thereafter resolved to put all confirmation requests processes on hold, pending the clarification on its powers of confirmation.

This was due to comments by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the Senate’s nod was not required for the EFCC nomination, as the agency was not listed in the 1999 constitution.