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Security Experts Frown At EFCC’s Media Trial In Alleged Confrontation With NAF Personnel In Kaduna

Security Experts Frown At EFCC’s Media Trial In Alleged Confrontation With NAF Personnel In Kaduna

Security experts have expressed concerns with the manner in which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has so far handled its alleged fracas with Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel in Kaduna.

The experts specifically frowned at EFCC’s legendary style and strategy of resorting to media trial, in this case with another government agency, without exploiting other channels or avenues available to resolve the matter.

According to the experts, no matter the issue at stake, the EFCC should have engaged the leadership of the NAF at Kaduna and if that failed, reached out to the NAF leadership at their headquarters in Abuja, rather than continue to regale in seeking public sympathy even before the matter is thoroughly investigated.

According to one of the experts, “The EFCC and the NAF are both government institutions with key roles to play in the security architecture of our country.

Therefore, it does not augur well for them to be seen bickering over an issue that could have been easily managed.”

One of the experts, Demola Mubarak, reeled out EFCC’s well-known tactics of media trial and judgment which date back several years and have not in any way helped their cause and image but instead portrayed them as unprofessional and always seeking the easy way out.

Specifically, he referred to a published article by one Sulaiman Aledeh in The Guardian of 24 November 2021 titled, ‘The EFCC gaffes, media trials and politics,’ where EFCC’s strategy of trial-by-media has not in any way helped the Commission in cracking cases.

In the article, Aledeh attributed EFCC’s style of media trial to either, “distrust in Nigeria’s judiciary or the absence of enough facts and evidence to charge the alleged people”.

The writer was further quoted as stating that, “latching on to pent-up emotions from the Nigerian public would not give the EFCC the respect and attention it desires. Instead, winning cases by thoroughly going through the court processes will earn the Commission the respect it deserves”.

Speaking further, Mubarak referred to a similar case regarding students of Obafemi Awolowo University that was poorly handled by operatives of the EFCC. In this instance, the EFCC media trial style was thoroughly dissected by Sunday Ehigiator in a piece published in ThisDay newspaper on 13 November 2023, where he noted that the Commission’s strategy of public shaming without due profiling, fell short of global best practices.

Writing under the banner, ‘OAU Invasion and EFCC’s Penchant for Arbitrary Raids, Media Trials’ Mr Ehigiator stated that “even before profiling the students, the EFCC had issued a press release that went viral and posted the students on their official social media platforms tagging them fraudsters. They also included their names in the press release.”

Speaking on the allegation by the EFCC that NAF personnel stormed their office in Kaduna and attempted to release their colleagues, the experts unanimously noted that irrespective of what occurred, the approach adopted by the anti-graft agency was totally uncalled for and unnecessary, noting that 2 critical government agencies must learn to find amicable ways of resolving issues involving their staff. The experts went further to commend the NAF and its leadership for their maturity so far in handling the matter and for not taking the bait to respond to the media show by the EFCC.

In their final submission, the experts advised EFCC to desist from their ineffective strategy of media trial because it downgrades not just the operational standards of the agency but amounts to a deliberate policy of intimidation. They ended by stating that, “the EFCC is meant to be an agency of uncompromising standards that should be a reflection of our domestic and international image in the fight against corruption.”

Security Experts Frown At EFCC’s Media Trial In Alleged Confrontation With NAF Personnel In Kaduna

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