Patrick Akpobokemi

The Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may clash over the ongoing investigation of the recently sacked Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobokemi.

EFCC recently invited the former NIMASA boss for questioning over allegations of corruption while he was in office.

A close ally of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he was the first Director General of a federal government parastatal to be fired by President Muhammadu Buahri since the present government came on board.

A senior investigator reportedly said that while his agency was completely conscious of the past history of Akpobokemi as a close associate of Jonathan, it decided to plunge into the ongoing investigation in spite of the fact that the agency’s action might be tagged as having a concealed purpose.

According to the source, “While our investigation is ongoing, we wonder why the DSS has decided to commence moves to take over the case. The security implication of NIMASA’s operations, which DSS gave as reason for taking over the case, to us, is not convincing enough.”

But a source at DSS who confirmed the move of the secret intelligence agency, said from all indications, EFCC appears not to be abreast with the antecedents of Akpobokemi, as one of the designers of the last phase of the Niger Delta struggle.

“It means that with the electoral loss of the former president, who was his man, the leadership of that platform of which the former DG was a player may be planning something not known to the public that has some security implications,” the DSS source who pleaded anonymity stated.

“As far as DSS is concerned, the issue of security is far more important than what EFCC is pursuing without any result in the last three weeks or so,” he said.

The DSS source added: “As far as we are concerned, we won’t leave anything to chance because these guys threatened fire if Jonathan was not given a second term to govern. So, if need be, we are going to take over the entire process of the probe because the EFCC is just wasting time unnecessarily on the man.

“This is not a witch-hunt but routine security procedure that requires professionalism on our part – if only to stem any future security breach. We will ensure all is well.”

By Pita Ochai


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