By Chika Otuchikere
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arrested the former Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Mr. Ita Ekpeyong.
Ekpeyong’s arrest came 10 months after a near fatal standoff between operatives of the EFCC and Department of State Services (DSS) was averted over attempts by the ant-graft agency to search and arrest Ekpeyong.
The DSS under the leadership of the just sacked DG, Lawal Daura, prevented the EFCC operatives from searching or arresting Ekpeyong.
Some eyewitnesses of the latest EFCC’s invasion of Ekpeyong’s Asokoro, Abuja residence, said that the operatives came in three buses and patrol vehicles accompanied with 20 armed policemen.
The combined team of EFCC and police allegedly barricaded Ekpeyong’s residence while some of them went into his mansion and searched it for over two hours before leaving at about 3 pm.
According to the source, no cash was recovered at Ekpeyong’s home.
There were claims by some online platforms that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, approved the raid as part of outcome of the meeting he held with the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu; and the new DSS boss, Matthew Seyifa, on Wednesday.
Ekpeyong, who was appointed DG of the DSS in 2010, was eased out of office in 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari replaced him with Daura.
During the first aborted attempt to raid Ekpeyong’s home in 2017, the EFCC had accused him of being indicted in the arms purchase scandal that trailed the exit of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Yesterday’s raid may not be unconnected with the allegations levelled against which prompted the first attempt.