• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Yahaya Bello: Don’t desecrate courts while fighting corruption – CSOs tell EFCC

2023: Yahaya Bello calls for jettisoning of rotational presidency, zoning

Anti-Corruption Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies against undermining the sanctity of the courts while fighting corruption.

The CSOs stressed the importance of upholding suspects’ rights and avoiding any actions that could lead to a violation of the law while enforcing it.

During a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday, the CSOs expressed concern over the recent clash between the EFCC and former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, describing it as unnecessary and unfortunate.

The executive chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), speaking at the briefing, questioned the EFCC’s haste to arrest Bello despite an impending Court of Appeal hearing on the matter. He suggested that such actions might be perceived as politically motivated.

The CSOs highlighted the EFCC’s actions as preempting the outcome of its appeal and disregarding a valid court order to suspend action pending the case’s determination.

“Tantamount to the agency preempting the outcome of its appeal and also violating a subsisting and valid court order to pause action pending the determination of the case before it.

“Our layman’s understanding is that a Court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot assume superiority over another,” they noted.

They emphasised the need for all actors, both state and non-state, to abide by the law, including the Nigerian criminal justice system regulations and court processes.

The CSOs urged the EFCC to respect the rule of law and await the outcome of its appeal before taking further action against Bello.

The press conference was attended by Debo Adeniran, executive vhairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL); Sina Loremikan, (Campaign Against Impunity); Declan Ihekhaire, (Activists for Good Governance); Gbenga Soloki, CADOV; Ochiaga Ohaneze, (Ohaneze Youth Council); Funmi Jolade, (Women Democratic Vanguard); Kola Abe, (Centre for Socioeconomic Rights); Ologun Ayodeji, (Transparency and Accountability Group); Femi Lawson, (Centre for Public Accountability) and Gbenga Ganzallo (Media Rights Campaign), among others.