- Category: Ephraim Emeka Ugwuonye Esq.
- Published on Saturday, 28 April 2012 17:59
- Written by Emeka Ugwuonye
The Economic and Financial Crimes and Commission, EFCC has continued to target me in all conceivable manners in total disregard of my constitutional rights. This afternoon, for instance, an
employee of a hotel in which I stayed in Lagos informed me that I was recently shown on a Lagos television channel in the same manner of portrayal in false lights.
When Will This EFCC Deception And Manipulation Stop?
I am outraged by the continued practice of the EFCC management of using my name and the sordid incidents of my abduction, unlawful arrests, interrogations and torture in 2011 as a tool for media propaganda. In various medial centers around the country, the EFCC leadership still uses my name and images to promote their otherwise abysmal and much misguided efforts to fight corruption in Nigeria. They show the pictures of me appearing in an Abuja court in a singlet and other intimate wears, a situation they orchestrated for their purpose. Behind such displays, they sponsor stories of how they have fought corruption, depicting me as guilty of corruption or crime, citing such shows as symbolizing a success story for them. These portrayals of me show gross incompetence, mischief, deception and even fraud on the part of the EFCC. Not only do they offend me profoundly, they clearly stigmatize me unjustly with guilt, all in an effort to lynch me for speaking publicly about their incompetence and internal corruption.
We had thought that this was the predilection of the much disgraced and compromised Mrs. Farida Waziri and her team. But it is clear that the practice has continued even under the new chairman of the EFCC and his current media and propaganda department. It is clear that I have not been convicted of crime anywhere in the world, how much less in Nigeria. It is clear that the EFCC leadership have not established in law that I committed any crime. In any case, it is also clear that I am entitled to the presumption of innocence, which is a universal fundamental right of every human being. It is to be observed that the Chief Justice of Nigeria had last year warned against the EFCC’s practice of parading people in the media and thus subjecting them to unlawful shaming and public disgrace as a means of punishment without trial. Despite all this, the EFCC has continued to target me in all conceivable manners in total disregard of my constitutional rights. This afternoon, for instance, an employee of a hotel in which I stayed in Lagos informed me that I was recently shown on a Lagos television channel in the same manner of portrayal in false lights.
The situation now leaves me with no option than to put this whole absurd and abusive pattern of conduct to a challenge in the court of law. Beyond the comments of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, I would now request an authoritative declaration of the law regarding this shameful behavior of the EFCC and its leadership. Also, I think that Nigerians need to finally understand the true record of failure and corruption within the EFCC, which gives the motive to their unscrupulous propaganda.
It is to be observed that the EFCC has failed Nigerians in all manners and forms. It failed in all its major cases, and at preliminary stages thereof. It has not won more than 20 cases on the merits since it was created 11 years ago, but has had to resort to intimidation and forced plea bargains to get poor suspects to jail and has touted such questionable convictions as some glorious performance record. Also, EFCC failed woefully to detect several key corrupt practices in the past and present administrations of Nigeria. It did not do anything about the allegations that the former President of Nigeria paid out over 10 billion naira in unlawful inducement in pursuit of his third term agenda. Similarly, the EFCC failed to explain what happened in the case of Transnational Corporation debacle and the manipulated collapse of the Nigerian stock market a few years ago. Most astonishingly, the EFCC failed to detect or prevent or prosecute anyone for the now widely known massive fraud in the fuel subsidy programs of the Government, notwithstanding the fact that the Commission had always had a department to watch the petroleum industry. In a similar vain outcome, the EFCC failed to detect anything about the movements of funds and financing of the activities of the Boko Haram Islamist sect, notwithstanding the fact that the EFCC has claimed wide range of powers over, and has possessed a department charged with the detection of, terrorism-related financing. In fact, the EFCC top leaderships have been directly implicated in bribes from people under investigation. No wonder that at a time that Boko Haram is targeting media houses on the claim that it was irritated by the press, the EFCC is building new offices in territories with marked presence of Boko Haram, in clear belief that the sect has nothing to fear about the EFCC.
In face of these abysmal performances and despicable record, the EFCC still goes about portraying innocent citizens of this country as guilty of offences that have not even been tried. Rather than do their work, the leadership of the EFCC has become the most corrupt and wasteful agency of the Nigerian Government. Their work has not been to fight corruption, but rather to protect the truly corrupt by engaging in distractions and diversions of attention and national resources from the real enemies of Nigeria. And because of the corrupt motives behind their behavior, one should not expect that any level of education or enlightenment would ever get the EFCC leadership to change their ways. Hence, the inevitable resort to a judicial intervention.
(STATEMENT OF Emeka Ugwuonye)
APRIL 28, 2012,