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Lawmakers allege undue interference causes face-off in EFCC, DSS, NIA

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Lawmakers yesterday at senate plenary alleged that the undue meddlesomeness of the Federal Government on the operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS) and National Intelligence Agency (NIA), was the cause of their periodic clashes that result in security lapses in the country.

This allegation was made as senate adopted a report by its Ad-hoc committee constituted to investigate the causes of the disharmony between the operatives of EFCC and NIA over the botched attempt to arrest the helmsman of the latter.

It also said that the office of the National Security Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari manned by Babagana Monguno has taken side on the crisis rocking the security agencies.

Part of the report stated, “The failure of the office of the National Security Adviser to act on the letter by the Director-General, DSS dated July 25, by implication amounted to failure to discharge its statutory responsibilities as contained in section 4 of the National Security Agencies Act, cap 74LFN 2004.”

Chairman of the committee, Francis Alimikhena further observed that there exists acrimony between the chief executive officers of the security agencies.

Alimikhena affirmed that the lack of cooperation and cohesion has even made the EFCC and NSA to belong to one group while NIA and DSS belong to another rival group, thereby negating the principle of espirit de corps among them.

The lawmakers also said though EFCC acted within the ambit of the law as it has obtained all relevant search warrants but that it failed to obtain authorisation from the NSA or president as stipulated by the establishing act.

In consideration, it was the position of majority of the lawmakers that the presidency has underhand influences and directives in the operations of the security agencies that sometimes result in personality clashes and eventually pitched the chiefs against one another.

The ad-hoc committee further recommended that the National Assembly should initiate the amendment of the security agencies act cap N74 LFN 2010 to give powers of control to the coordinator of National Security over these agencies on behalf of the president.

It was said that the security agencies should be properly guided against blanket investigations to forestall jeopardising security operations and causing disrepute to the country both locally and internationally.

Besides, it was part of the recommendations that search and arrest operation in future must first have the presidential approval, adding that it must be done in a discrete manner rather than in full public glare.

In their separate contributions, majority of the lawmakers said there was an international embarrassment as a result of the parallel operations adopted by the various security agencies.

“It is sacrilegious, abominable, unacceptable for sister security agencies to be at war with each other” they lamented.

They also believed that “The problem of herdsmen, kidnaping and terrorism will never be resolved except there is a cohesion and cooperation among these sister security agencies.”

The lawmakers further expressed fears that even sharing of the proposed $1 billion to fight Boko Haram when finally approved could cause deeper crisis among them.


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