Yahaya Bello: ‘EFCC deserves to face full weight of judicial retribution’ —Activists, CSOs

Activists and Civil Society Organizations have called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to warn the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against misrepresenting Nigeria as a lawless society.

The activists said it was disheartening that a law enforcement agency had become an instrument in the hands of politicians against its own mandate.

The about 60 CSOs, under the umbrella of the Coalition for Democracy and Justice, said this during an emergency Press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, in reaction to the flagrant disobedience to a valid court order restraining the arrest, prosecution, harassment, among others, of the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, pending the hearing and determination of a substantive fundamental rights enforcement action.

“It would be a sad day for democracy and the EFCC would have succeeded in turning itself into a law-breaking Commission that deserves to face the full weight of judicial retribution,” they warned.

According to them, one of the strongest threats to democracy is “when the rule of law is compromised in the service of crude politicking and personal score-settling plus other dark interests.”

The Convener, Barrister Ojo Olukayode, who addressed the press, alerted President Tinubu on why he and his genuine supporters “must take exceptional care not to fall victim of the shenanigans of crude politicians whose main objective is to derail his beautiful Renewed Hope agenda with their desperate plots to turn the President into a proxy to fight their dirty political war.”

He said it was important to advise the EFCC not to make itself susceptible to any action that might be deemed as violating the sanctity of the judiciary.

“They must ignore the antics of all those who are urging them to commit contempt of Court through disregarding an outstanding Court order against the arrest and prosecution of former Governor Yahaya Bello or any of his aides, pending the determination of the case in court in that regard as instituted by the lawyers of the former Governor,” he added.

The activists stated, “The Commision must deliberately avoid the temptation of falling under the pressure of disgruntled political elements by breaking the law in their actions to uphold the law. All of those concerned must follow the due processes of law by abiding by subsisting Court orders.

“We do sincerely hope that the EFCC, as a law-abiding agency, would see through the poorly veiled ignoble actions of those undesirable political elements and refuse to act illegally. But our optimism may be short-lived as, in vagrant disregard to that Court order which the Commission has appealed and pending for hearing on Monday 22nd April, the EFCC may be in the process of effecting the illegal arrest of the former Governor.

“If this happens, it would be a sad day for democracy and the EFCC would have succeeded in turning itself into a law-breaking Commission that deserves to face the full weight of judicial retribution.”

The CSOs called on the President to ignore and rebuff all attempts by political jobbers to influence him to move against one of his most dependable allies.

“Their voices of blackmail and wicked, false allegations may be loud, but truth remains constant and justice shall prevail ultimately. As Nigerians, we cannot allow hatred and injustice to win,” they declared.

The Coalition for Democracy and Justice is a Committee of activists and Civil Society Organizations that concern themselves with issues of justice as they affect individuals, organizations and corporate entities as well as maintaining vigilance to forestall anything that may threaten our democracy as a nation.

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