Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the standoff between the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the State Security Service, (SSS), and National Intelligence Agency, (NIA) on Tuesday.
The group described the clash as counter-productive to the fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
SERAP asked “the government of President Buhari to urgently instruct the leadership of the SSS and NIA to allow anti-corruption agencies to carry out their mandate without any interference whatsoever.”
Officials of the EFCC and those of the NIA as well as the DSS were on Tuesday involved in a face-off in Abuja. This occurred when operatives of the EFCC attempted to arrest former head of the NIA, Mr Ayo Oke, and the DSS, Ita Ekpeyong but the attempt was frustrated by armed officials of the two security agencies.
SERAP on Wednesday, in a statement signed by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale said the action of the DSS preventing the arrest of the former bosses, “is patently contrary to Nigerian law and international standards such as the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.
“Nothing more fundamentally undermines public confidence in the fight against grand corruption and trust in government than to see state security agencies paid for by public funds apparently aiding and abetting those suspected of engaging in corruption to escape justice.”
They, therefore, called on President Buhari to stop the SSS and NIA from obstructing justice, adding that this will make it clear that under Buhari’s watch, those accused of corruption would not be allowed to circumvent the law no matter their status in the society.
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