The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has described, as utter falsehood, a media report suggesting that the invitation of Department of State Security (DSS) operatives for questioning in relation to the arms contract scandal probe was motivated by vengeance.
The EFCC made its position known in a statement issued on Tuesday. The statement was responding to a report published in the Sunday Tribune of 5 November. According to the report, the EFCC invited DSS operatives to rubbish the service as a payback for its role in the non-confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as substantive EFCC Chairman by the Senate.
The report, written by one Taiwo Adisa, also said the DSS is not answerable to the EFCC.
Quoting an anonymous DSS source, the report stated: “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.”
The EFCC explained that it is normal for it to invite, for questioning, officers of other law enforcement agencies alleged to be complicit in any case it is investigating. It further explained that there are protocols guiding such invitations.
“Part of that protocol is to write to the heads of such agencies, requesting that the officer(s) in question be released to be interviewed. In the course of investigating the arms procurement scandal in the Office of the former National Security Adviser (ONSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the Commission has had cause to request the release of officers of other security agencies, including the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Airforce, the Nigerian Navy and now the DSS, for questioning. All but the DSS have acceded to this request,” stated the EFCC.
It added that the arms procurement investigation is national in outlook, with alleged culprits drawn from the military and security establishments as well as the political class.
“It (investigation) 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,” the EFCC said.