Both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) are agencies which report to the presidency. However, the relationship between the two agencies is more strained at the moment than at any other time in their histories.
On Thursday, the respective heads of the DSS, Lawal Daura, and the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, were at the senate for a hearing into a face-off last month between officials of both agencies when the EFCC attempted to effect the arrest of a former DG of the DSS,Ita Ekpenyong, at his Asokoro residence.
The men could not even be bothered to shake hands or exchange pleasantries as they sat far apart and kept expressionless faces.
Also present was the acting DG of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mohammed Dauda, whose officials also prevented the EFCC from arresting its former DG, Ayo Oke.
According to Thisday:
At the venue of the hearing Thursday, Magu and other staff of the EFCC were already seated before Daura walked in at 2.46 p.m., also accompanied by DSS officials.
Maintaining an expressionless facade, Daura took the front seat on the left row from where the EFCC officials were already seated.
The acting head of the NIA also walked in a few minutes later.
Following a request by the DSS boss, the hearing was moved to a closed door session in a smaller hearing room.
Magu said in his own remarks that there was no clash between his men and those of the DSS, as EFCC officials had withdrawn “peacefully”.
“There was no street fight; we did not fight anyone. So, the reference is not proper, with all due respect. My men went there to execute a warrant of arrest and when they could not, they withdrew peacefully,” Magu said.