How EFCC officials assaulted Nigerian under probe – Lawyer
Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, on Thursday, narrated how overzealous operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Abuja allegedly assaulted a citizen.
According to the Managing Partner of Law Corridor, he was at the EFCC office on Wednesday alongside a citizen who came from Benue and whom he advised to turn himself in for investigation at the office of the anti-graft agency.
Olajengbesi, who took to his Facebook page on Thursday to narrate what transpired, expressed shock that EFCC officers “physically abused and banged the head of the citizen against a wall” after he voluntarily turned himself in for investigation.
The lawyer said, “My firm is providing legal services to a citizen who came all the way from Benue for investigation by the EFCC. His brother had been detained, and I personally advised him to turn himself in, and he needed the wisdom of my words. Despite it not being directly under my work schedule but to strengthen his resolve, I offered to accompany him and the lawyer handling the matter to commission.“Arriving at the EFCC Headquarters, specifically the Capital Market (CFMIS), not even the Cybercrime or Advance Fee Fraud department, which implies some level of solid financial experts investigators. I was appalled by the behavior of the officers in the department, who ought to be solid transaction investigators with lots of ethical experience and professionalism.
“The investigating officer confirmed his identity and promptly ordered him inside, referring to him with derogatory language, ‘the bastard they were looking for’. As he stepped in, he was met with a series of brutal slaps from another woman, presumably the 2IC (second in command). The assault continued relentlessly, shocking me beyond belief. Even the police or civil defense would not act in such a manner, unless faced with extreme circumstances like armed robbery.“Of all the officers, one Chidera Godwin stood out for his sheer brutality. He assaulted the man in a crude and uncivilized manner that defied comprehension. Witnessing this, I could not help but doubt his education and humanity. Chidera further humiliated the man, slapped him repeatedly, and even banged his head against the wall.”
Olajengbesi said he reported the incident to the SERVICOM department in the EFCC, and they acted swiftly and professionally to address the issues, but the officers who committed the offence denied beating the man whilst another EFCC officer joked about it, saying, “You dey report EFCC to EFCC”.
When contacted, the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said he was not aware of the incident.
“No notice of such thing has been brought to my knowledge. There is no notice of that as far as I know.
“If such things happen within the premises, there are ways of dealing with it. So, I can’t make a comment on that because I don’t have information regarding that,” the anti-graft agency spokesperson told our correspondent on Thursday morning.