Pilot Law

CURRENT ISSUES: EFCC media trial, an aberration

 

Olayinka Dauda Jimoh is the Chairman of the Young Lawyers’ Forum
(YLF), Ilorin branch, Kwara State. In this interview with our
JUDICIARY CORRESPONDENT, KAYODE ADEOTI, he speaks on the need for the
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to caution Economic and
Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on its mode of operations. Excerpts:

How do you see the calls for the reversal of firearms from private individuals?
For President to take such position, there must be something behind
it. We all know what is happening in Nigeria today where we have
vandalisation of public property, extra judicial killings of citizens
and many other criminalities.
When a crime is committed, firearms are involve. I will rather back
Federal Government. There is even no law that allows paramilitary to
use gun, of course, law allows individuals who have licence to use
gun. But, there are restrictions to the kind of gun one can use as a
private individual. The President took that decision to curb crime in
our communities. National Assembly doesn’t have any power under law to
compel the President to reverse the decision that has already been
taken unless such decision contravenes the law. There should be a
restriction to how we use guns and ammunitions, otherwise, our country
will turn to where anyone can kill and be killed.
Some Nigerians have condemned the operation of EFCC in Kwara State
especially the aspect of posting pictures of suspects, carrying
placards on social media, what do you have to say about this?
Seriously speaking, this act of EFCC and other anti-graft agencies are
condemnable, barbaric, unconstitutional. You cannot see this kind of
EFCC operation anywhere in the world. What the agency is doing is
media trial that has no place in our law. Even if one appears before
God, He will still ask one questions before condemnation follows. We
call on President to caution EFCC, their act doesn’t give glory to the
fight against corruption. It happens not only in Kwara State but
everywhere. You cannot arrest a suspect and take him to your own
court, and afterwards, convict the person. How many members of the
public will know if those people they’ve displayed their placards on
the social media are later exonerated in the court? The public
condemnations is a very strong stigma which will continue hanging on
the neck of those whose pictures have been posted on the internet.
This stigma will follow them to the grave, their children and unborn
generations will read about it. Once a thing is posted on social
network, it cannot be removed again, anyone who is a victim of this
should approach court for redress. Once EFCC start getting some
damages to pay, I think they will change their style.

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