Yahaya Bello: CRANE wants EFCC to train officials on child protection protocols, social welfare

Child’s Rights Advocacy Network (CRANE) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to train its operatives on comprehensive training on child protection protocols and social welfare expertise on the children amidst the ongoing investigation of former Kogi state Governor Yahaya Bello.
National President Ethnic Youth Leaders for Peace in Nigeria, Comrade Franklin Edede while briefing newsmen on behalf of the Network, said CRANE denounces the repeated mention of Bello’s children in press conferences and statements by EFCC officials, particularly its chairman Olanipekun Olukoyede and spokesperson Dele Oyewale.

The network also urged EFCC to immediately cease all actions and public statements that directly or indirectly target Yahaya Bello’s children and strictly adhere to due process and the presumption of innocence in all investigations.

He said these challenges not only deprive them of their fundamental rights but also stifle their growth and development, hindering their ability to contribute meaningfully to society.

He said they also underscore our own duties as a society to protect them from all forms of abuse, intimidation, harassment and exploitation.

“They must not become collateral damage for any reason in any situation

“The Child’s Rights Advocacy Network (CRANE), an umbrella body of NGOs and community-based organizations for youth and children, is deeply concerned about recent incidents in our polity which once again paint in stark contrast the plight of the Nigerian child.

“We also condemn strongly the public statement by their school, the American International School, Abuja, regarding her remittance of the school fees paid for the children by their family to the EFCC.

“While she may have felt the need to find justification, she should have been guided by the higher interests of her pupils’ welfare.

” She could have related with the EFCC in confidence. Her actions are also more difficult to stomach given that she may have potentially contravened the judgment of an FCT High Court which held that she was under no compulsion to refund the money,” he said.

The network urged Bello family to “Seek age-appropriate counseling and psychological support for their children to mitigate any potential harm caused by the public exposure.

” Consult legal counsel to address the potential violations of their children’s rights and seek appropriate remedies.

“File formal complaints with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

They urged President Bola Tinubu to order a thorough and impartial investigation into the EFCC’s actions concerning the Bello children.

They urged him to publicly condemn any tactics that endanger children and reaffirm Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to protecting children’s rights and take decisive disciplinary action against any EFCC personnel found to have violated children’s rights.