CSOs Write NASS, Demand Probe Of EFCC’s Alleged Attack On Protesters


A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has petitioned the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the alleged attack on protesters at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.


In a statement sent to LEADERSHIP, the group explained how operatives of the EFCC allegedly barred dozens of protesters, who stormed the anti-graft agency’s headquarters to demonstrate in support of the embattled former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, from entering the premises.


Earlier, there were anti-Yahaya Bello protesters at the headquarters of the EFCC located in Jabi district of Abuja, with various placards bearing various inscriptions.


They were calling on the commission not to rescind its decision to arrest and prosecute the former Kogi State governor, arguing that dropping the case would portray the country and the agency in a bad light.


Also, about an hour later, pro-Bello protesters stormed the commission’s headquarters with placards showing various inscriptions while chanting various anti-EFCC songs.


They demanded to see the chairman of the commission, Ola Olukoyede, whom they accused of persecuting the former governor.


Our correspondent, who covered the two protests, reports that pro-Bello protesters were denied entry by the stern-looking operatives of the commission.


The protesters, in their numbers, subsequently advanced towards the main gate of the commission, and tried to enter forcefully before they were repelled by the gun-wielding operatives of the commission.


Reacting to the developments, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, in a four-page petition to the National Assembly Committees, co-signed by Dr Clement Nduka, Convener-Nigeria, and Richard Otitoleke, Director of Operations, said a panel of enquiry should be set up to look into the ugly trend with a view to recommend punitive measure for whoever that erred on the matter.


Other demands included in the petition, addressed to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Human Rights, National Assembly, were: “That the honourable Committee should invite the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede to appear before it to answer to the issues raised.


“That the honourable Committee should extend an invitation to the Reporters of Africa Independent Television (AiT), Arise Television and all journalists on ground who were also victims of the barbaric attack by an institution like EFCC.


“That the honourable Committee extends an invitation to the drivers of the Abuja urban Mass Transit who drove some of the damaged vehicles and who have been suspended by their employers, Abuja Urban Mass Transit, due to the unfortunate action of EFCC destroying their buses.


“That the honourable Committee should invite the manager of the filling station beside the EFCC Headquarters whose station and customers on queue for fuel were badly harassed, attacked and two arrested by the Commission.


“That the honourable Committee should consider such other things that will promote justice, fairness and rule of law in this case.”

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