Shots have reportedly been fired within the barricaded premises of No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, taken over from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), by the Department of State Services, (DSS).
Police officers attached to the EFCC and other members of staff expressed shock at the development on Tuesday.
The shots which appeared to have been fired in the air as a warning came just as journalists approached the locked gate of the premises to get close-up video shots.
Earlier today, DSS operatives stormed the EFCC office and denied the anti-graft Agency’s officials access to its premises.
EFCC’s spokesperson, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, described the presence of the secret police as a “siege”, and a shock, noting that the Commission had cohabited with the DSS in the same facility for 20 years without any fracas.
But the DSS in a statement by its spokesman, Peter Afunanya, had said it was not correct to state that the secret police barricaded EFCC from entering its office. “The Service is only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility,” he said.
The anti-graft agency maintained that, “by denying operatives access to their offices, the Commission’s operations at its largest hub with over 500 personnel, hundreds of exhibits, and many suspects in detention have been disrupted”.
“Cases scheduled for court hearing today have been aborted, while many suspects who had been invited for questioning are left unattended. Even more alarming is that suspects in detention are left without care with grave implications for their rights as inmates.
“All of these have wider implications for the nation’s fight against economic and financial crimes”, it said, adding that, “the siege is inconsistent with the synergy expected of agencies working for the same government and nation, especially when there are ongoing discussions on the matter.”