Pelumi Olajengbesi, an attorney for human rights in Abuja, has described a run-in with overzealous agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the anti-graft organization’s Abuja headquarters.
The managing partner of Law Corridor states that on Wednesday, he was present at the EFCC office with a citizen from Benue whom he had urged to present himself for questioning at the anti-graft agency’s office.
Olajengbesi expressed outrage on his Facebook page, stating that EFCC agents physically attacked the citizen and slammed his head against a wall after he freely turned himself in for inquiry on Thursday as he detailed his disgust with the EFCC office. The man had taken himself in voluntarily for investigation.
The lawyer said, “My firm is providing legal services to a citizen who came all the way from Benue for investigation by the EFCC. His brother had been detained, and I personally advised him to turn himself in, and he needed the wisdom of my words. Despite it not being directly under my work schedule but to strengthen his resolve, I offered to accompany him and the lawyer handling the matter to commission.
“Arriving at the EFCC Headquarters, specifically the Capital Market (CFMIS), not even the Cybercrime or Advance Fee Fraud department, which implies some level of solid financial experts investigators. I was appalled by the behavior of the officers in the department who ought to be solid transaction investigators with lots of ethical experience and professionalism.
“The investigating officer confirmed his identity and promptly ordered him inside, referring to him with derogatory language, ‘the bastard they were looking for’. As he stepped in, he was met with a series of brutal slaps from another woman, presumably the 2IC (second in command). The assault continued relentlessly, shocking me beyond belief. Even the police or civil defense would not act in such a manner, unless faced with extreme circumstances like armed robbery.
“Of all the officers, one Chidera Godwin stood out for his sheer brutality. He assaulted the man in a crude and uncivilized manner that defied comprehension. Witnessing this, I could not help but doubt his education and humanity. Chidera further humiliated the man, slapped him repeatedly, and even banged his head against the wall.”
Olajengbesi said he reported the event to the EFCC’s SERVICOM division, and they handled it in a timely and professional manner, but the officials responsible denied hitting the man while another EFCC officer made fun of it by saying, “You dey report EFCC to EFCC.”