Group to EFCC: Respect rights of citizen in line of duty

A group, Global Rights Nigeria, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to respect rights of citizens in the line of duty.

The group, an advocate for sustainable Justice, made the call to campaign against a predawn raid on two clubs, which led to the arrest of at least 127 people in Akure, the Ondo state capital a few weeks ago.

In a statement, the group Executive Director Abiodun Baiyewu, observed that the raid was carried out in a brazen and unnecessarily violent manner without due regard to the human rights of the suspects, maintaining that the ‘heavy handedness serve no one’

“EFCC’s response to their allegations of heavy-handedness, in this case, was focused on their belief that the victims were primarily ‘yahoo boys’.

“We stress that this is not the first time the EFCC has been accused of high-handedness in executing its law enforcement functions. It has earned notoriety for infringing on suspects’ rights while conducting arrests. EFCC officials have been credibly accused of conducting unlawful arrests, assaulting suspects, unlawfully seizing property, and, in some instances destroying the possessions and properties of suspects.

The EFCC’s approach of arresting non-convicts for non-violent crimes using heavy-handed tactics according to the group is condemnable because none of the suspects has ever been convicted of a crime for which they were arrested.

“The  Nigerian Constitution further provides that everyone, including suspected criminals, is to be treated with a fundamental respect for the dignity of their person,” the group noted further.