Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has berated the DSS for obstructing the EFCC operations on Tuesday.
He stated that the incident should not be treated as a mere ‘inter-agency face-off’ but a flagrant disregard for court orders.
Falana said, “It is wrong to view what occurred as an inter-agency face-off. Since warrants of arrest and search were validly issued by a Magistrate Court, the prevention of the arrest was a clash between impunity and rule of law. The security personnel who shielded the suspects from arrest committed the offence of obstruction of justice punishable under the EFCC Act.”
The activist said since the Presidency had said the EFCC was free to investigate the former NIA boss, the DSS had no reason to prevent the anti-graft agency from doing its work.
Also civil rights groups described as shameful, the clash between the officers of the DSS and the EFCC.
The groups, including the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, said the clash was an embarrassment to the President.
The CDHR described the clash as ugly and sickening, asking the DSS Director-General, Lawan Daura, to caution his men.
The CDHR President, Malachy Ugwummadu, said this on Wednesday, noting that the DSS men also allegedly cordoned off and prevented the arrest of Oke, a former DG of the National Intelligence Agency.
Ugwummadu said, “Yesterday’s face-off between the two security agencies was dishonourable and unethical; such reprehensible conduct has consequences.
“We express worry over the overzealousness of the DSS officers and their less-than-average conduct as public officers. We call for appropriate sanctions to avoid a future occurrence.
“The repeated and clandestine approach where DSS officers mask themselves is also becoming very worrisome.
“We therefore call on the DG to tame the excesses and allow law enforcement agencies to carry out their functions without hindrance to avoid any further form of embarrassment that would send the wrong signal.”
Also a security analyst, Ben Okezie, said the DSS had been antagonising the anti-graft commission, noting that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had failed to resolve the matter in a sensible manner.
He asked Buhari to intervene and sanction the two agencies for ridiculing each other.
Okezie said, “It is very unfortunate that the two security agencies cannot see eye to eye; the DSS has been trampling on the EFCC and the Attorney General has not been handling the issues well.
“In other climes, such things don’t happen, you hardly see the FBI antagonising other agencies. The President should intervene and caution them. He should rebuke or sanction any officer who puts his office to ridicule,” he counselled.
A severity consultant, Lt. Col. Sola Oremade (retd.), described the clash as a shame and an indictment on the two agencies and called for the dismissal of their leadership.
“This is a shame and the incident is indefensible. It is ridicule to this government and an indictment on the leadership of the two security agencies. The heads of the EFCC and the DSS should be sacked for this shameful display and indiscipline,” he noted.
Oremade said the incident indicated that the President had lost control of his security officers which he said was dangerous.