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DSS siege on our Lagos office shocking – EFCC 

"Building belongs to us," says DSS

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ARINZE NWAFOR, Lagos

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has accused the Department of State Services, DSS, of refusing to grant it access to a facility they both share in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The anti-graft agency described the refusal as a “siege on its Lagos office” which is “shocking.”

Officials of the EFCC arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos on Tuesday to the sight of its fellow agency, DSS, placing its machinery at the entrance. 

A statement from the EFCC reads, “Agents of the Department of State Services, DSS, had barricaded the entrance with armoured personnel carriers.”

EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren states that the Commission considers the action strange as it has “cohabited with the DSS in that facility for 20 years without incident.”

The commission expressed worries that preventing their operatives from accessing their Ikoyi office would disrupt over 500 personnel, and hundreds of exhibits, and work on many suspects in detention.

“Cases scheduled for (a) court hearing today have been aborted, while many suspects who had been invited for questioning are left unattended,” Uwujaren added.

The EFCC also denounced the effect the DSS ‘siege’ would have on suspects in detention who it says are left without care and has grave implications for their rights as inmates.

Uwujaren said the siege is inconsistent with the synergy expected of agencies working for the same government and nation, especially when there are ongoing discussions on the matter.

However, the DSS Spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, maintained the security agency acted within its bounds and did not lay a siege. 

“It is not correct that the DSS barricaded EFCC from entering its office. No. It is not true,” Afunanya stated. 

He said the DSS was only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility.

The building in question is used by the EFCC as its Lagos head office and is headed by the zonal head of the EFCC in Lagos.

The disputed building is separate from the EFCC office in Okotie-Eboh, which is also in Ikoyi and is used as its detention centre in Lagos.

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