A socio-political group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has condemned the face-off between officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and those of the State Security Service (SSS) and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) over the foiled attempt to arrest the former Heads of SSS and NIA, Ita Ekpeyong and Ayo Oke respectively.
In a statement signed and issued Wednesday by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, SERAP described the face-off as counter-productive to the fight against corruption.
The group urged “the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently instruct the leadership of the SSS and NIA to allow anti-corruption agencies carry out their mandate without any interference whatsoever.”
“Preventing the arrest of a former Director General of the Department of State Services, 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,” part of the statement read.
Ending the face-off
SERAP further said protecting suspected perpetrators from facing justice for corruption may suggest that officials of SSS and NIA are trying to cover up allegations of corruption against those involved.
“Fighting corruption is not just for the EFCC alone or any corruption-specific mandate agencies but it is for all state security officials and law enforcement agencies to cooperate and work together to support the government to achieve its oft-repeated commitment to combat grand corruption and impunity of perpetrators.
“Buhari must wade in to end this face-off if his government is to successfully stop the spread of corruption in the country and protect the integrity and authority of anti-corruption agencies.