Why SSS blocked EFCC from arresting ex-DG, Ita Ekpeyong

Nigerian_SSS
SSS

The State Security Service (SSS), is relying on the provisions of a legal instrument approved by the Abdulsalami Abubakar military junta in resisting the arrest of its former director general, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

Operatives of the SSS on Tuesday blocked the arrest of the immediate past DG of the agency, Ita Ekpeyong, in an embarrassing confrontation with personnel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The EFCC says Mr. Ekpeyong is wanted for his alleged role in the arms scam involving a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and other former senior military officials. Many of the other accused persons have been arraigned in court.

The former DG, who led the secret police between 2010 and 2015, reportedly turned down multiple invitations by EFCC investigators.

An attempt by EFCC personnel this week to arrest him and search his home at 46 Mamman Nasir Street, Asokoro, Abuja, was resisted by SSS operatives, the latest in a string of clashes between the two law enforcement agencies.

The EFCC was also blocked by security agents against arresting the former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke.

The Senate is investigating the encounter, amid widespread criticisms from Nigerians.

But PREMIUM TIMES understands that beyond its well known history of acrimony with the EFCC, the SSS is relying on the provision of a proclamation approved by General Abubakar in 1999. The law is now regarded as a subsidiary legislation of the National Security Agencies Act.

The edict, titled Instrument No 1 of 1999, shields the SSS from external audit and investigation of its financial dealings, making them subject to only presidential review.

The order was issued via military fiat by Mr. Abubakar on May 23, 1999, just six days before the nation transited to civilian rule.

The instrument has not been nullified or replaced by a National Assembly-enacted Act, and the SSS still abides by its provisions till date.

Article (1) of the Instrument reads, “The Director General is responsible to the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces for the proper expenditure and accounting of all funds made available in the service from the security vote or any other source.”

The instrument also excluded the security service from external auditing.

“The account of the state security service shall not be subject to external audit, but the Director General shall, by the first week of March each year, render to the President, Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, returns of expenditure, and copy the National Security Adviser,” article 2 reads.

The SSS believes that any questioning of its present and former leaders over financial matters is tantamount to external auditing of the agency’s finances.

The agency does not have a spokesperson to comment for this story. Its Director General, Lawal Daura, did not answer or return multiple calls.

However, sources in the agency told PREMIUM TIMES Mr. Daura has told President Muhammadu Buhari that his agency would continue to shield Mr. Ekpeyong for as long as that proclamation was not repealed or amended.

He is also said to have told close associates that he was ready to be sacked rather than allow the EFCC to arrest Mr. Ekpeyong.

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, did not answer or return multiple calls made to him on Sunday.


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  • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

    One ignoramus law maker made the derogatory remark that the President was not in charge, it is now clear that the incompetent law makers are aiding these because of obsolete laws! How can they justify the jumbo pay they cart home annually?

  • SiB

    Instead of these lawmakers to review, amend and consolidate all the various contradicting laws, act, edict, bla bla scaterred all over for decades, they are busy doing the job of the judiciary. What a bunch!!

  • Alpha

    Touche. Let’s say for the sake of argument the SSS has some backing in defending their actions on behalf of their former DG, how exactly does that apply to the NIA and its former boss? Does the same law cover that agency as well? Cousin Daura has indicated he is ready to be sacked over this, Uncle Buhari should please oblige him. A better opportunity is never going to present itself.

    • forestgee

      ….if there is extant law or edict protecting DSS, why can’t we focus on National Assembly to do the needful instead of telling PMB to sack Daura? NA should pull the veil so that we can see clearly

      • FineBoy

        Extant law above the Constitution?

        That means Dasuki can’t be tried, cos he can claim DSS bosses are his PW

        • forestgee

          No…only if the extant law is in conflict with the Constitution. National Security is important but we want accountability also.

  • Abdullah Musa

    And was efcc acting on behalf of a local government chairman?

  • Waandu

    If that is the case, why is Dasuki being investigated and tried?

    • Sam

      Dasuki was the NSA ,not the DG Sss.

  • Yomi

    It’s 1-1

  • Hashim Wakil

    EFCC is a useless organization. Does it mean that the EFCC has no other task than to investigate Dasuki Arms Scandal. 95 percent of arrests made by the Efcc since Mr Magu became the Acting Chairman has to do with the Dasuki Arms Scandal. How can an organization made up if thousand of men and women duel on just about three cases namely Dasuki, Patience Jonathan and Deziani while so many other political looters are free moving about. The largest news now is that the EFCC has not applied to Interpol to arrest Maina because they have suddenly become scared that Maina is bent on exposing the EFCC and their corrupt dealings. Nigeria !!! God help us

    • FineBoy

      Did you benefit?

  • absam777

    Well, over to you Mr President, your nephew said you have no balls to sack him. Mr President no law requires you to declare your assets, yet you did so. If no crime was committed in the DSS, then they should officers and gentlemen to show to allow any investigation. So, Mr President show us your balls as a patriot.

  • Buharin daji

    I must say I admire the camaraderie of the DSS

    • Solomon Brown

      You sure do, as you hate being held accountable for your actions.

    • thusspokez

      I am sure that you are not alone — most gullible people would.

    • Julius

      Really ? I’m sure you would if one of them kill any of your family member and couldn’t be arrested also.

  • Solomon Brown

    This makes no sense at all, no one individual or organization should be law unto themselves, the former DG is exploiting that loophole to his benefit, that edict should be nullified by the legislative arm of government asap.

  • thusspokez

    Article (1) of the Instrument reads, “The Director General is responsible to the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces for the proper expenditure and accounting of all funds made available in the service from the security vote or any other source.”

    Nonsense, where does this include former DG of the SSS?

    Colonel Kayode Are was the SSS Director General(1999 – 2007) and was first arrested by the EFCC in 2015 without any SSS interference. If the aforementioned law applies to former DGs why didn’t it apply to Kayode Are?

    • atakamosu

      No governor or president obeys the law, so why must SSS? EFCC doesn’t, so why should anyone? Jungle justice prevails in Nigeria.

      • thusspokez

        If other people are jumping of a cliff, would you follow them also?

        • THE TRUTH IS BITTER

          Yes, because in Nigeria and Africa there is what we call ‘SOFT LANDING’. Go and ask alh B.L. and many others before him. Mugabe just got his too. Will it ever be well with the black man ?

          • thusspokez

            If you say “yes”, why have you not jumped off the cliff, but having a conversation with me here?

            Every time people like you say or do stúpid things or commit a crime, you reject holding yourself accountable. Instead, your defence (if one can indeed call it a defence) is often: “In Nigeria or in Africa, blah blah blah!”

    • Julius

      Thank you for bringing Col. Are’s name up. He was indeed arrested and was also made to vacate his government house. So, what the hell are they talking about ?

    • Ben Oakson

      No true. Col Are was arressted by the SSS and forcibly ejected from his accommodation in Lagos as the present DG SSS felt he was not entitled to stay in the property. Just trying to put the facts straight.

      • thusspokez

        What is not true? That he wasn’t arrested by the EFCC in 2015?

    • akan

      this proclaimation is confusing. then why is dasuki arrested when he was NSA

      • thusspokez

        The Buhari government is a sad state of affair: ad-hoc, chaotic; fiefdoms; continues to undermine, with impunity, due process, guidelines, standards, and the constitution.

  • Suleiman Alatise

    These people are worse than armed robbers and this nothing but impunity.

  • T-Rex

    My take is this,i have never heard of any where in the world where the funding/expenditure of an intelligence agency is subjected to an external audit.

    • Pawa2

      Have you ever heard of anywhere else in the world where the wife of the boss of the intelligence agency stored over $40M of the agency’s money in a flat for her own private use? I am sure all over the world, governments have ways of ensuring that all agencies are accountable and free of corruption. What EFCC is trying to do is not to audit the agencies account but to find out why and how the DG had so much money in his possession. You don’t have tp audit the accounts of the agencies to do that. The former NIA DG appears to have agreed that the money indeed came from the NIA’s accounts.

      • T-Rex

        I was not talking about the NIA,or did the wife of the sss ex-boss also store billions of dollars in a warehouse?

        • Pawa2

          Firstly, the stories are combined and the circumstances and excuses are similar. If you wanted to differentiate them in your comment you should have done so. Secondly, as my earlier post suggested, asking the former SSS boss particular questions about missing moneys cannot be construed as auditing the accounts of the SSS. From what was written in the artocle, it appears the ex-sss boss is not the one that is being probed; he is being called to shed some like on Dasuki’s case. How that can be construed as auditing the account of the SSS beats me.

  • Abner Zaman Yuyu

    Ibrahim Magu should have time to study laws guarding other federal security organisations before the engaging of his men on assignments. Making people feel as if government is at war with itself. He is not the only person heading a federal government organisation.

    • yusuf Mikail

      If what the position of the DSS is correct, then that is the law. EFCC must work according to the law. Over to Falana and Sagay to confirm the law and educate us better.

  • chyke

    This is self serving as he is aware he may be a candidate for arrest after 2019