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CURRENT ISSUES: You can’t arrest, convict suspect in your own court – Kwara lawyer tells EFCC

Olayinka Dauda Jimoh is the immediate past 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 calls for the retrieval 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
involved. 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 especially in 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
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
the 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 convict the person. How many members of the public get to
know if those people they’ve displayed with placards on the social
media were 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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