A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Sebastine Hon, has said that it is illegal for the operatives of the Department of State Security and the National Intelligence Agency to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting their former officials.
He therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to weigh in and ensure that the right action is taken before the country is turned into a banana republic.
Operatives of the two agencies were reported to have prevented the anti-graft agency from arresting former Director-General of DSS, Ita Ekpenyong and former boss of the NIA, Ayodele Oke.
In a statement he issued yesterday Hon said the officials of the DSS and the NIA had no right, moral or legal, to prevent the EFCC from performing its statutory functions.
According to him, the action of the DSS and NIA’s officials amounted to a breach of their oaths of office and their avowed allegiance to the constitution and the rule of law.
He said: “Officials of the security agencies involved in this ugly saga bear arms; and supposing the EFCC officials attempted to force their way into the residences of the indicted persons, what would have been the result?
“If the indicted persons were still serving, one would have expected the EFCC, out of courtesy and not out any legal obligation, to have formally requested the DSS and the NIA to turn them in to the EFCC. But the twosome are not in service again; and in the absence of constitutional or statutory immunity, there is nothing stopping the EFCC from inviting or even arresting them.”
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, including the DSS and the NIA, to weigh in immediately.
“If he refuses, fails or neglects to do that, his already imperilled anti-corruption agenda will plunge further downhill. Mr. President should act immediately”, he added.
EFCC operatives reportedly laid ambush around Ekpenyong’s home at Number 46 Mamman Nasir, Asokoro, as early as 6a.m. to pick him up to answer questions on what he knows about the amount of money the agency collected from the office of the embattled National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), just before the 2015 poll.
But the operatives, armed with search and arrest warrants, were turned back by DSS operatives attached to Ekpenyong.