The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, on Thursday said there was no street fight between EFCC and two security agencies: Nigeria Intelligence Agency, NIA, and the State Security Service, SSS.
Mr. Magu’s stance was in response to comments by chairman of the Senate ad-hoc committee constituted to investigate the face-off, Francis Alimikhena.
Mr. Alimikhena while insisting that the hearing be held in presence of journalists had referred to the face-off among the agencies as street fight.
“There is nothing hidden because they fought in the street,” he said “They fought dirty and Nigerian people will like to know what led to that fight. What happened in that dirty fight, I don’t think it’s something we should hide from the public. For me, I would prefer that we do this openly for Nigerians to see. It’s a shame on all of us for sister security agencies to be fighting dirty in the street. Which means we don’t have spirit de corps. For them to fight in the public then they should tell us what led to that fight.”
The senator was the only one among the five committee members who wanted the hearing made public.
Mr. Magu, however, did not wait for the commencement of the closed-door session before venting his dissatisfaction at the senator’s choice of words.
The EFCC boss told the senator that the EFCC never engaged in street fight but went out to carry out its constitutional duty.
“Mr. Chairman, I really don’t know. There was no street fight, there was no dirty fight. We did not fight anybody. So, the reference to street fight dirty fight, I don’t think its proper sir. There was never a street fight. My men went there, they were not allowed to execute the due warrant of arrest and the search warrant.”
The senator did not respond to his comments.
The lawmakers then agreed to hold the hearing behind closed door.
The committee also agreed to hold separate hearing for each of the agencies, starting with the EFCC, before inviting the three to a final hearing.
Recall that Nigerian Eye had reported the incident last month as NIA and SSS officials prevented the EFCC operatives from arresting Ita Ekpeyong, ex-head of the SSS; and Ayodele Oke, ex-head of the NIA.