National Task Force to Combat Illegal Importation of Small Arms, Ammunition and Light Weapons, NATFORCE, has described the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as a tool of impunity and abuser of constituted authority.
FCT director of t NATFORCE, Mr. Festus Itunoya stated this at a press briefing by the taskforce at the weekend in Abuja, on the EFCC purported ‎declaration of the task force’s DG, Chief Emmanuel Okereke, wanted.
Itunoya maintained that the anti-graft agency acted recklessly and in clear disrespect of court processes by declaring Okereke, who was a presidential candidate of the African Liberation Party, ALP, in the 2011 general elections, wanted and a fugitive.
He said: “The EFCC statement claimed our DG was wanted for allegedly jumping bail in a trial based on spurious claims that he operates a syndicate which maintains offices across the country, defrauding the public by selling recruitment forms for N5,000 in the guise that they would be offered job by the federal government.
“I wish to state that there is no iota of truth in the claims by the
commission. The aim of the allegation is without doubt to tarnish the hard-earned image and reputation of Chief Okereke and find him guilty in the media as well as in the court of popular opinion by providing half-truth by the EFCC.”
The director stressed that the Federal High Court, Abuja, had made an order asking the parties to the action to maintain status quo pending, the determination of the substantive suit.
He said, “However, the EFCC which is a creation of the law would rather not honour this sacrosanct order of the court by its flagrant statement declaring Chief Okereke wanted.
“It is worrisome that the EFCC, which in its press statement
acknowledged that there was a case pending in court, would usurp the powers of the judiciary in its bid to score cheap points and gain media popularity while destroying years of hard earned reputation of both the DG and the taskforce.
“This untoward act of the anti-graft agency is bizarre and unethical, to say the least. It is regrettable that the commission would rely on unsubstantiated lies of a kinsman of its top officer to declare an innocent Nigerian wanted and publish it in the media in an effort to be seen to be working.‎”
The taskforce called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and assess the activities of the anti-graft agency as well as sack the chairman of the commission before it brings more innocent Nigerians to disrepute.

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