Coalition chides EFCC over media trial of suspects

Posted by News Express | 9 June 2017 | 1,335 times

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The Coalition of Human Rights Groups in Nigeria (CHRGN) has charged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to face its core mandate of prosecuting suspects.

The group advised EFCC to channel its efforts to diligent prosecution to achieve convictions and desist from media trial of accused persons in the on-going corruption fight in the country.

According to the group, the case of Mr. George Turnah, Special Assistant on Youth Matters to Mr. Dan Abia, Ex-Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), was a typical case of media trial.

CHRGN urged EFCC and its staff to respect citizens’ rights to fair hearing and presumption of innocence until the law court gives a verdict.

The group expressed the views in a press statement signed by Abdol Jega and Daniel Igbudu, its Coordinator and Secretary, in Yenagoa on Friday.

CHRGN described the recent statement credited to Mr. Ishaq Salisu, the South-South Zonal Head of the (EFCC), on the allegations against Turnah as unnecessary and a distraction.

“Salisu, apart from his most recent media vituperations in which he accused Turnah of forgeries was reported to have addressed a group of protesters on the 22nd of May, 2017 in Port Harcourt.

“He recklessly and summarily “convicted” Mr. Turnah who is yet to be proven guilty haven been arraigned by the EFCC before a Port Harcourt Federal High Court on allegations of obtaining by false pretence and money laundering,” the group stated.

The statement urged EFCC to be civil and not attempt to take actions that amount to usurping the powers of Court by entering a final determination of guilt on suspects.

“Characters like Salisu are causing problems for EFCC with their appetite and penchant for media trial and convictions as well as overzealousness.

“Is Salisu EFCC’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Media or Legal to address protesters and the Press on issues that the Court should be the arbiter or he has a vested interest in the matter?” the group asked.

Source: News Express

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