The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has invited some Department of State Services operatives for questioning over the $2.2 billion arms procurement scandal in which a former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd), is implicated.
Such summons are common to all military, security establishments as well as the political class, the EFCC said on Tuesday.
It explained that the invitation of the operatives had nothing to do with a revenge-instigated investigation of the DSS by the EFCC because its Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, was not confirmed by the Senate as the chairman of the anti-graft agency.
The DSS is yet to grant the request of the EFCC for the release of the operatives.
The Head of Media and Publicity, EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement in Abuja, said the probe was not targeted at any institution.
The statement said: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to a report on the invitation of some DSS operatives.
“The report painted a picture of an imaginary feud brewing between the Department of State Services (DSS) and EFCC over the alleged invitation of some DSS operatives, which it claimed was an attempt by the Commission to ‘rubbish’ the Service since the DSS was not answerable to the EFCC.
”It is important to state that it is not strange for the EFCC to invite (for questioning) officers of other law enforcement agencies alleged to be complicit in any case being investigated by the Commission.
“But there are protocols in doing this; and part of that protocol is to write to the heads of such agencies, requesting that the officer(s) in question be released to be interviewed.
“In the course of investigating the arms procurement scandal in the Office of the former National Security Adviser, ONSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, the Commission has had cause to request the release of officers of other security agencies, including the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Navy and now the DSS, for questioning. All but the DSS have acceded to this request.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the arms procurement investigation is national in outlook, with alleged culprits cutting across the military, security establishments as well as the political class. It is not targeted at any institution.
“Consequently, the insinuation about a revenge-instigated investigation of the DSS by the EFCC over its role in the Senate’s refusal to confirm Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the EFCC is not only specious, but pure mischief contrived for motives that are unclear.”