Conflict between DSS and EFCC over Lagos building takes a new twist with presidential intervention

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nI a recent incident in Lagos, Nigeria, a long-standing conflict between the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) took a new turn. The disagreement revolved around the ownership and occupation of a building located at No. 15 Awolowo Road in Ikoyi.

Operatives of the DSS had barricaded the entrance to the EFCC’s office in the building, prompting the anti-graft agency to issue a protest statement. The DSS, on the other hand, denied barricading the premises and claimed that they were merely occupying their own facility.

The incident gained significance as it became one of the first challenges faced by President Bola Tinubu, who had been inaugurated just 24 hours earlier. In response to the situation, President Tinubu directed the DSS to vacate the EFCC’s office immediately and called for an amicable resolution of the issues between the two agencies.

The EFCC expressed its surprise at the incident, highlighting that both agencies had shared the disputed facility for two decades without any problems. The agency noted that the DSS’s action had disrupted their operations at their largest hub, impacting hundreds of personnel, exhibits, and detainees. Court hearings scheduled for the day were also affected, and several suspects who had been summoned for questioning were left unattended.

The DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya said ‘It is not correct that the DSS barricaded EFCC from entering its office. No. It is not true. The Service is only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility.

“By the way, there is no controversy over No 15 Awolowo Road, as being insinuated by the media. Did the EFCC tell you it is contesting ownership of the building? I will be surprised if it is contesting the ownership.

“Awolowo Road was NSO headquarters. SSS/DSS started from there. It is common knowledge. It is a historical fact. Check it out.

“There is no rivalry between the Service and the EFCC over and about anything. Please, do not create any imaginary ones. They are great partners working for the good of the nation. Dismiss any falsehood of a fight.”

The incident highlighted the need for better coordination and cooperation between government agencies, especially those involved in combating economic and financial crimes. It also raised concerns about the impact on ongoing investigations, detainees’ rights, and the nation’s fight against corruption.

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