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EFCC may cripple multi-party democracy if- HURIWA

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Babatunde Opalana  

A Right group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria ( HURIWA) has raised an alarm that  activities of the Economic and Financial Commission(EFCC) may cripple the nation democracy.

The group accused the Commission of indiscriminate arrest and trial of politicians in the opposition camp, in a move meant to enforce a one party state.

HURIWA claimed that throughout the years 2015 up until the last week of December 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has carried out daredevil partisan attacks of top rated officials of the Presidential campaign of the PDP produced immediate past President Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

The Commission was accused of overlooking the need to  be balanced, objective and patriotic by failing to take a forensic investigation of the campaign finances of the now national ruling party- the All Progressives Congress(APC) which sponsored Major General Muhammadu Buhari(as he then was) for the elective post of President which he is credited to have won in 2015.

It said that this open and brazen act of perfidy and biasness is even against the backdrop of the fact that over 5 governors under the platform of the then ruling party left to join APC and were known to have heavily bankrolled the campaign of the then leading opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari”.

HURIWA which made the above observations in a statement to the media authorised jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, asked Nigerians to be vigilant and work for the sustenance of multiparty democracy in Nigeria in the coming year (2018) which is a crucial campaign year heralding the 2019 tough General election in which the incumbent is being railroaded to contest by some of the governors elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress(APC).

The Rights group said the historical trajectories of Alhaji Ibrahim Magu show him to be slavishly loyal to his appointing authority- President Muhammadu Buhari who has against all calculations and against the lawful recommendation of the National Assembly that he be dropped as Acting Chairman has stock to his gun in the insistence that Alhaji Magu whose attempted confirmation was truncated at the Senate by a well considered security reports from the Department of State services(DSS) indicting him of being unfit, must remain in office in acting capacity.

HURIWA cautioned that if the National Assembly does not rise to the occasion and exercise her lawful legislative powers by totally insisting on its original recommendations rejecting the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of EFCC and he is allowed to act extralegally as Acting Chairman in 2018, Nigeria could see a sudden spike in coordinated raids of homes and offices of opposition political figures especially those who are perceived to have the formidable wherewithal and necessary competences, networks and financial muscles to wrestle political power from the current administration which is seen as poorly performing and has endangered the national economy of Nigeria.

HURIWA which also completely condenmed the EFCC for dabbling into the trade disputes as if it has become a debt collector or attack dog in the longstanding litigation between the Guarantee Trust Bank plc and one of her respected clients and a reputable industrialist Mr. Innocent Chukwuma (INNOSON), also lamented that that undue attention EFCC has paid towards unravelling the sources of campaign funding of the immediate past PDP administration portrays it as being unrepentantly partisan, politically biased and is now an institution whose reputation has been sullied and its integrity rubbished in the cesspool of politically corrupt anti-graft war which is just a smokescreen for waging a crusade against multiparty democracy. “We must safeguard our multipartism and not allow EFCC and forces of darkness to instigate the enthronement of a one party state in 2019”.

HURIWA has therefore called on the Judiciary and courts of competent jurisdictions to maintain her constitutional independence as enshrined in section 6 by adjudicating on all the matters filed before it by the EFCC/ICPC/POLICE/DSS without fear or favour and without pandering to the whims and caprices of anti-democratic forces masquerading about as officials of antigraft bodies but whose only brief is to decimate, degrade,  intimidate, harass, incarcerate extralegally, naming and shaming and conducting serial media trials of opposition political figures especially those of the only remaining mainstream opposition Peoples Democratic party(PDP) which in any event voluntarily exited power after generously conceding defeat in the troubled year 2015 Presidential election.

HURIWA said it was unbecoming of a legally created body such as EFCC to consistently embark on campaign of political WITCHUNTS against political opposition elements but the moments those same accused persons switch political camp to embrace the All Progressives Congress, the so called antigraft body under the headship of the Acting Chairman Alhaji Ibrahim Magu will look the other way as if those persons who were previously harangued and harassed by them are now born again saints by virtue of the fact that they moved camp to the ruling national party of APP which produced President Muhammadu Buhari.

“HURIWA therefore calls for active vigilance on the side of all patriotic Nigerians to ensure that the campaign year of 2018 is not marred by calculated and well coordinated overhyped media persecutions of heavyweight political opponents of President Muhammadu Buhari who despite all his shortcomings and the prolonged overseas medical vacation at public costs is being pressured by some poorly performing governors to vie for a second term in office come 2019. Nigerians must either wake up, become politically conscious, pick up their voters’ cards and watch the performances of all government officials especially those at the commanding lead of such critical law enforcement and democratic institutions like EFCC, DSS, ICPC, INEC NPF, and all security forces in the Country. The saying that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance is truer now in Nigeria than at any other times in our chequered political history.”


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