Condemnations have continued to trail the November 21, 2017 confrontation between the DSS, NIA and the EFCC as the two security agencies prevented the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting the erstwhile Director General of the DSS Mr Ita Ekpenyong and the former NIA Director General Ambassador Ayo Oke.
This action which has received the condemnations of well meaning Nigerians including the Nigerian Senate is still receiving more knocks. This time around, the Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned what it calls obstruction of Justice by the NIA and the DSS.
In a statement released on Wednesday November 22, 2017 by the organisation’s deputy director Timothy Adewale, part of it reads: “Preventing the arrest of a former Director-General of the Department of State Services, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong; and a former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke so that they are unavailable to answer the charges of corruption against them amounts to abuse of power and obstruction of justice. It 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.”
According to SERAP, this unnecessary obstruction by the NIA and DSS for retired individuals has called to question the way we utilize our security agencies. If a retired individual like Ita Ekpenyong and Ambassador Ayo Oke could have access to as many officials of DSS and NIA guarding their house heavily despite their retirement status. It means there is a fundamental error within our polity which we’ve failed to manage well.
The DSS and NIA have engaged in dereliction of duty as they’ve taken over the job of the police by providing personal security for individuals wanted for corruption trial by anti-graft agencies which is another abnormality.
It’s high time the Presidency wades into this recurrent confrontation between the DSS and the EFCC to save its image from being destroyed.