Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services has denied raiding the offices of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and carting away sensitive files.
In a statement issued by its Public Relations Office, Peter Afunanya, on Sunday, the DSS said, “To set the records straight, the DSS did not execute operations of any kind at the ICPC and CCB or remove files from their offices.
“Instructively, the two agencies have, on their own, refuted the news in widely circulated press statements. It is petty, if not laughable, to report that (Abdulaziz) Yari (former Zamfara State governor) was invited for refusing to pick the President’s call.”
It also said that “it will not shirk its responsibilities or allow some detractors to prevent it from undertaking its statutory duties or carrying out lawful orders by constituted authorities”.
“If Yari or anyone else is to be invited or taken into custody, the Service will not hesitate to do so as far as that is procedurally done within the confines of the law.
The Service will remain focused, resilient, patriotic and professional in the conduct of its affairs. Members of the public are enjoined to disregard the misleading stories which are aimed at causing disaffection in the country and disparaging the Service’ leadership.
“The Service will continue to work with relevant stakeholders to address security challenges in the country in line with its mandate and the directives of the President. It does not matter how many times naysayers and hostile agents will plan to distract it,” the statement added.
Similarly, the CCB denied reports that the DSS raided its office to cart away documents incriminating President Bola Tinubu and his close aides.
A statement issued by its Director of Education and Advocacy Services, Daniel Okafor, said: “The CCB wishes to state unequivocally that at no time did the DSS or any apparatus of the Federal Government of Nigeria carry out any raid or search for incriminating documents on the president and his associates on the office of the Code of Conduct Bureau Head office in Abuja or any of the offices in the states and FCT.
“It is also necessary to state clearly that at no time since this government assumed office on 29th May, 2023 was any directive received from the Federal Government of Nigeria to cover up any matter on the president and his associates as being conveyed by the publication.”
SaharaReporters earlier reported that the DSS had been removing all incriminating files relating to President Tinubu and his close aides from the CCB and ICPC.
On Tuesday, June 27, 2023, SaharaReporters exclusively reported that the DSS had told the anti-corruption body Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to steer clear of political cases for now
Sources told SaharaReporters at the time that the recent raids on EFCC offices – first in Ikoyi, Lagos and later in Abuja – were more political than they were made to look.
SaharaReporters had reported that during the raids, DSS operatives carted away files and flash drives containing sensitive information about former governors, ministers and senators under investigation.
It was learnt last Friday that the cleaning-up exercise had been extended to other anti-corruption bodies – CCB and ICPC.
“DSS closure of EFCC Lagos office was instigated by Tinubu,” a security source confirmed
“The DSS is currently removing all incriminating files from the Code of Conduct Bureau and ICPC relating to Tinubu and his close aides and associates.”
Tinubu was arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in September 2011 for allegedly operating foreign bank accounts, contrary to the constitution.
Tinubu was accused of operating 10 foreign accounts during his tenure as governor between 1999 and 2007 in the charges filed against him by CCB at the tribunal.
The former governor was specifically accused of violating Section 7 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap C15 LFN, 2004 as amended, by operating the said accounts, an offence punishable under Section 23(2) thereof as incorporated under paragraph 18, part 1, fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, the three-man panel of the tribunal later dismissed the case, saying there was no significant basis to proceed against Tinubu as the charges were “defective and shoddy.”
The tribunal held that the charges did not disclose a prima facie case and that there was no proof of evidence attached to the charge.
It also noted that the charges failed to show that the accounts were held by the accused person.
But in March 2016, Rotimi Jacobs, a senior advocate of Nigeria and the Federal Government prosecuting counsel said the CCT was misled to discharge Tinubu when he was arraigned before it in 2011.
According to Jacobs, Tinubu was freed in error.