President Bola Tinubu has ordered the Department of State Security Services (DSS) to immediately vacate the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Ikoyi, Lagos.
DSS officials stormed the EFCC Ikoyi office, stopping officials from accessing their workplace. Gunshots were also heard in the area.
But Tinubu in a statement by his media aide Tunde Rahman, called on the DSS to quit the premises.
“The President said if there were issues between the two important agencies of government, they would be resolved amicably,” the short statement read.
The DSS had stormed the premises, claiming ownership of the building.
“It is not correct that the DSS barricaded EFCC from entering its office. No. It is not true,” the DSS said in a statement. “The Service is only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility.”
Reports gathered that the DSS officials arrived in Lagos on Monday and parked on the road leading to the office of the anti-graft agency.
The staff of the agency had gone about their work peacefully as they thought the DSS operatives came around for the maintenance of peace.
But after EFCC officials ended the day’s work, the DSS men moved into the premises and then prevented them (EFCC staff) from gaining access when they resumed work the following day (Tuesday).
The DSS, however, dismissed insinuations of a dispute between the two agencies.
“There is no rivalry between the Service and the EFCC over and about anything. Please do not create any imaginary ones,” the agency’s spokesman Peter Afunanya said.
“They are great partners working for the good of the nation. Dismiss any falsehood of a fight.”
In reaction to the development, the EFCC described it as strange, saying both agencies have cohabited in the facility for two decades.
“By denying operatives access to their offices, the Commission’s operations at its largest hub with over 500 personnel, hundreds of exhibits, and many suspects in detention have been disrupted,” EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwajuren.
“All of these have wider implications for the nation’s fight against economic and financial crimes,” the agency 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.”