President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has assured his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, that he and his close aides will be spared in any anti-corruption war his government is currently engaging in. According to information reaching us from Sahara Reporters, reveals that on the night of Monday 26th June 2023 they was a secret meeting between Tinubu and Buhari in London, United Kingdom.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assures his predecessor Muhammadu Buhari that the Department of State Services (DSS) have been charged to continue the investigation of politically exposed persons by the anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Already, the DSS has carried out raids on EFCC offices in Lagos and Abuja respectively, carting away sensitive files, documents and flash drives on investigations into alleged fraudulent activities of former governors, senators and ministers. However, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu returned to Nigeria on Tuesday ahead of Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, after spending a week in Europe.
The President departed Nigeria on 20th June 2023 to participate in the two-day New Global Financial Pact Summit, held in Paris, France. Tinubu, who was initially scheduled to be back in Abuja on Saturday, proceeded to London, United Kingdom, for a short private visit to former President Muhammadu Buhari. On Monday night, 26th June 2023, Tinubu met with former President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, according to information from our reliable source, what formed the subject matter of their discussion was an agreement that Muhammadu Buhari and his close aides would not be bothered by any probe or anti-corruption war during Tinubu’s tenure. According to statement from our source, “Tinubu met Buhari to reportedly discuss that Buhari and his close aides will not be bothered with any ‘corruption war.”
Earlier on Tuesday a reliable source told our correspondent that the DSS told the anti-corruption body EFCC to steer clear of political cases for now. According to him, the recent raid on EFCC offices in Ikoyi, Lagos and later in Abuja, were more political than they were made to look. The DSS has told the EFCC to concentrate on non-political cases for now. During the raids at EFCC offices, DSS operatives carted away files and flash drives containing sensitive information about former governors, ministers and senators under investigation,” the sources stated.
On Sunday, June 18, 2023, Sahara Reporters exclusively reported that the DSS raided the headquarters of its sister agency, the EFCC on Friday night, June 16, 2023. It was reported that the raid lasted till early Saturday morning. The action was undertaken under the cover of the night to prevent the public from knowing about it. EFCC personnel were also instructed not to mention anything concerning the raid to members of the public.
An insider had told Sahara Reporters at the time that the DSS was working in the interest of someone very important to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. However, another source said it might be linked to the recent closure of the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos by the DSS.
Also we learnt that some of the investigators handling the case of former Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle were to be summoned by the DSS for interrogation. That is actually intimidation, and this is exactly what former Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami did during Ibrahim Magu tenure as EFCC chairman to get several suspects off the hook, one of the sources stated.
It was revealed that Governor Bello Matawalle was being investigated by the EFCC in two separate cases. One of them is a case involving his private company which got money from the National Security Adviser’s office without executing the contract, which was investigated under the chairmanship of Ibrahim Magu. The other case involves the alleged fraud committed by Governor Bello Matawalle while in office.
Someone close to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu also informed our source that the president was aware of the moves being made by the former governor to stop the anti-corruption body from probing him, which includes obtaining court orders to restrain the commission and other agencies from carrying out their investigations.
It must be noted that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu recently suspended The current EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa from office indefinitely over allegation of corruption.
However, in the June 18 report, Sahara Reporters noted that it was not clear what the agenda of President Tinubu and the DSS were regarding the detention of Abdulrasheed Bawa and the carting away of sensitive documents relating to the commission investigations.
But revelations made by sources on Tuesday showed that the raids were political with the carting away of files and flash drives related to the probe of former governors, senators and ministers. Last month, operatives of the DSS stormed the Lagos office of the EFCC, preventing officials of the anti-graft agency from gaining access to their office in Ikoyi, Lagos. Sahara Reporters also learnt from top sources in both agencies that hundreds of EFCC personnel were locked out of office due to what was widely believed to be centered on office ownership disagreements.
“The EFCC officers are shocked; they have been using the building for more than 20 years. Several suspects are there and there are fears that some might have been illegally released,” a top source stated.
However, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu later ordered the DSS to vacate the EFCC office immediately, stating that if there were issues between the “two important agencies of government”, they should be resolved amicably.
Reacting to the incident, the EFCC in a statement on its official Facebook page described the siege as shocking, saying it had wider implications for Nigeria’s fight against economic and financial crimes.
“The operatives of the Lagos Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, in the morning, on 30th May 2023, to be denied entry by agents of the Department of State Services (DSS) who had barricaded the entrance with armored personnel carriers.
“This development is strange to the Commission given that we have cohabited with the DSS in that facility for 20 years without incident. 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 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.
“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,” the statement from the source concluded.
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