There was a back and forth on the floor of the Senate yesterday as lawmakers debated the Tuesday face-off between officers of the EFCC and DSS at the Abuja home of the DSS former Director-Genral Ita Ekpenyong.
Responding to a motion APC Sen. Dino Melaye raised on the matter, PDP Sen. Biodun Olujimi said President Muhammadu Buhari has lost authority on his administration.
Appealing to an order from above, the DSS officers blocked the arrest of Ekpenyong by the anti-graft commission’s officers and police. A similar incident happened in the house of the sacked National Intelligence Agency D-G Ayo Oke.
Melaye described the inter-agency fracas as a “recipe for national disaster”.
“Mr. President, the media and the social media, print and electronics have been awash with a disaster that took place yesterday. The EFCC went to the residence of the former Director General of the SSS, Ita Ekpeyong, to effect an arrest and the Directorate of State Security stopped the EFCC from arresting him. That created environmental brouhaha. The whole environment and neighbours were stopped from lawfully gaining entrance into their homes because of this confusion.
“Same yesterday, the EFCC wanted to arrest the former DG NIA, Mr. Oke. Also, the officers of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency stopped that arrest. We are not here to say who is at blame. We have been embarrassed before the international community. That two sister agencies will engage in fisticuffs, arrest and stoppage of arrests. Mr. President, this is a recipe for national disaster.”
Olujimi then beefed up Melaye’s motion by insisting ‘nobody’ is in charge of the current administration.
“Right now, we have a situation whereby nobody is in charge of anything and we cannot honestly blame anyone for what is happening. The truth is that you cannot go to the house of a security agent, a man who had kept the secrets of Nigeria for so long, and just try to arrest him like chicken.
“Mr. President, there has to be someone that we can hold responsible when two brothers are fighting. The person that is supposed to be held responsible has not done anything, is not doing his work.
“This is the first time we’ll see gross irresponsibility in government whereby there is no arbiter. No one to come in between two agencies that belong to only one person. The two agencies report to one person, the presidency and now we find them fighting on the pages of the newspapers, it’s a shame. We are calling on the President, he has to sit up, he should be up and doing. Call these people to order.”
She questioned the president on why a new nominee for the position of Chairman of EFCC has not been sent to the Senate.
Not a few senators were rattled by her statements.
Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan had to caution Olujimi against making such statements. He said President Buhari is in “full control of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“Even when Mr. President was away to attend to his health, the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, was in full control.
“The statement by our colleague is unacceptable. It’s not right, it is wrong,” he said.
“My opinion about what happened is that, could it be that EFCC did not get the right kind of document to arrest those people?
If they did, then the security agencies are wrong. Only the investigation would reveal this.”
The senate resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the clashes involving the three agencies.
Nigeria’s senate have been busy setting up ad-hoc committees to investigate various developments involving the executives. An ad-hoc committee is on police, IGP investigation; another one the reinstatement of wanted Abdulrasheed Maina.