Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja and Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arrested and detained former Director General of the State Security Service, Ita Ekpeyong, over his alleged role in the arms purchase scandal by the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (retd).

He was, however, released few hours later.

READ ALSO: EFCC makes U-turn, unfreezes Benue govt. accounts

Ekpeyong was arrested and taken to the Commission in the afternoon yesterday, hours after his house was raided by officials of the anti-graft agency, who got to his Asokoro, Abuja home in the morning.

The ex-SSS boss had refused to honour invitation by EFCC in 2017. Attempts by EFCC to arrest him last year was botched by the former director general of DSS, Lawal Daura. The sacked DSS boss had argued that it was against security protocol to arrest a former helmsman of the agency.

READ ALSO: Ex-DSS DG, Lawal Daura released from custody, passport seized

Confirming his arrest and detention, spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwugiaren, told Daily Sun that “he is with us”. He declined to give details for Ekpeyong’s detention.

Ekpeyong held sway as the DG of SSS between 2010 and 2015, during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Meanwhile, after about 24 hours of freezing the accounts belonging to the Benue State Government, the EFCC has unfrozen the accounts.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Samuel Ortom, Terver Akase, who had, Wednesday, confirmed the freezing of the accounts disclosed the news of the unfreezing to Daily Sun in Makurdi, yesterday.

READ ALSO: EFCC’s freezing Benue account illegal – Yari

“A few days ago, the EFCC gave directives to the banks to freeze the accounts of Benue State government. The banks didn’t tell us where the directive was coming from. EFCC does not have the powers to freeze the account except it passes through the court. We don’t know whether they used executive fiat to do that. The Finance Commissioner confirmed that the accounts have been unfreezed.

“Where was EFCC when the governor defected from the APC? Governor Ortom is a transparent governor who runs a transparent government and the EFCC will not find anything incriminating against him.

“We welcome the development, but the EFCC should not allow itself to be used as

an attack dog to witch-hunt perceived enemies. If we do that, we will be going back to the dark days of military dictatorship.

Akase thanked all Nigerians and the media for speaking with one voice against what he described as impunity and witch-hunt which he said had culminated in ensuring that the accounts were quickly unfreeze by the anti graft agency.