Some operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday stormed the residence of a former Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Mr. Ita Ekpenyong to arrest him in connection with the ongoing probe of the $2.1billion arms procurement by the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) between 2014 and 2015.
Ekpenyong was also wanted over some allocations given to the DSS during his tenure.
But the DSS prevented his arrest with a 30-man team.
It was learnt that the EFCC operatives arrived at Ekpenyong’s residence at 46, Justice Maman Nasir in Asokoro District at about 6am but could not effect his arrest following resistance by 30 DSS operatives.
After a nine and half -hour siege, the EFCC operatives were withdrawn to avoid a bloody clash.
A top source said: “We treated the former DG of DSS with decorum and he also cooperated with the EFCC. We wrote a letter of invitation to Ita Ekpenyong and the Head of investigative team had conversation with him.
“He promised to honour our invitation. He was even the one who gave his home address to the EFCC where the invitation letter was delivered. But the DSS management was opposed to his coming to EFCC under any guise.
“But there is nothing personal because we had invited serving and retired military officers including some former Service Chiefs.
“So also, a letter was written to the DSS to release its Director of Finance but the management of the security agency was opposed to it.
“When the former DG DSS was not forthcoming after some weeks, we obtained a search and arrest warrant order from the court.
“Our operatives went to his house at 6am to effect the arrest but it was resisted by a 30-man team of operatives from the DSS.
”The DSS officers told our team that there was an order from above that Ekpenyong should not be picked up by the EFCC team. They resisted our men and we had no choice than to ask EFCC operatives to retreat from Ekpenyong’s residence at about 3.30pm.
The highly-placed source said: “Despite the tension, the ex-DG of DSS allowed one of our officers to enter his house.
Ekpenyong told our officer, ‘I am ready to come to the EFCC, I have nothing to hide. I am innocent, I served the nation well.’ You can now appreciate what transpired.
” I don’t know whether it is within their brief to prevent a law enforcement agency from executing arrest or search warrant on a property belonging to a retired staff of the agency.
The suspect in question is not a serving officer of the DSS, which makes this action particularly reprehensible.”