…Drama as DSS, NIA DGs Snub Magu
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—ACTING Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, yesterday, appeared before the Senate Ad- hoc Committee that is investigating the November 21, 2017 incident, where EFCC tried to arrest former directors general of National Intelligence Agency, NIA and Department of State Services, DSS, Ayo Oke and Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, respectively.
Also before the Ad-hoc Committee which is chaired by the Deputy Senate Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena (APC, Edo North) yesterday, were the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura and acting Director- General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ambassador Muhammed Dauda.
It will be recalled that there was alleged security threat on November 21, following the face- off between the EFCC, DSS and NIA, over attempt by EFCC operatives to arrest Ekpenyong and Oke in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the face-off between Daura and Magu, yesterday , degenerated before the Senators and Journalists in Conference room 022, as both heads of government agencies refused to exchange pleasantries.
At yesterday’s investigative hearing, Magu came into the hall at 2.17 p.m., with his men, while Daura came in 30 minutes later.
Magu and his men were seated in the middle row of the hall, while Daura and his men sat at the left row and Dauda, the Acting Director General of NIA sat at the extreme right.
A short drama played out when they both saw Magu on the front row, but Daura boycotted the row and instead, opted for another seat. They did not exchange pleasantries before the commencement of the business of the day.
In a similar move, acting Director-General of NIA, Dauda, who walked in when the hearing was about to commence, also boycotted Magu’s seat and opted for another one.
He did not exchange pleasantries with Magu either.
Journalists were however, asked to leave the hall because of the sensitive nature of the issue.
Trouble started when Alimikhena asked the trio, Daura, Magu and Dauda if they had any comments to make. While Magu and Dauda did not object to the presence of newsmen, Daura however told Senators that he would only speak freely if journalists were not in the room.
On his part, Alimikhena said: “I have heard what you said. The matter is of security importance to this country. We want to see the agencies work together. We will oblige what you requeted. We want to ensure that you are comfortable enough to give something.
Another member of the committee and Chairman of Senate committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, supported the position of Alimikhena.
Before the issue of whether to investigate them in Camera was resolved, Senator Alimikhena who raised it said that the trial must be carried out in public because they fought a dirty fight and no respect for Espirit de corps, adding that what happened was a disgrace to the security agencies and a shame to the sister security agencies.
Replying Magu said that there was nothing like dirty fight, but there was resistance when there was a move to effect an arrest.
At the end of the day, the majority had it that the exercise should be carried out in the secret.
Following the agreement, Senator Alimikhena announced that room 022 was a big one for such an exercise which later made them to move to room 431, with only the EFCC boss to appear, just as the Chairman announced that others would be communicated on when they would appear before the Committee.
It will be recalled that there was alleged security threat November 21 following the face- off between the EFCC, DSS and NIA over attempt by EFCC operatives to arrest former Director- General of DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong abs his counterpart in NIA, Mr. Ayo Oke in Abuja.
The Senate had penultimate Thursday named a committee to probe the alleged security threat following the face-off between the EFCC, DSS and NIA over attempt by the EFCC to arrest former Director – General of DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong and his counterpart in NIA, Mr. Ayo Oke in Abuja.