The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of shielding high profile offenders while the commission had no reservation publishing the photographs and names of young students and other petty suspects in the media.HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Ms Zainab Yusuf, in Abuja, said it was totally against the illegal practice of parading suspects before the media even before there was a judicial determination of charges against such persons or organisations.
The group, however, said there was nothing wrong in disclosing names and offences of persons already considered one way or the other by the competent court of law recognised under Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.
HURIWA accused the EFCC of deliberate obfuscation and concealment of identities of some influential government officials accused of fraud.
“Specifically, HURIWA condemned the EFCC for concealing the identity of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from whom it made multimillion naira recovery recently.
“According to a statement by the EFCC, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has forfeited the sum of N250,000,000 to the federal government.
“However, the EFCC did not reveal the name of the said former MD in the statement which is an act of cowardice and a show of shame and depicts the EFCC as an organ that is partial against perceived suspects who are not politically connected or exposed,” the statement read in part.
The rights group further stated that it was irregular for the leadership of the EFCC to be going around government offices cap-in-hand begging for partnerships with organs of government “even when it is a notorious fact that most of these Ministries, Agencies, and Departmental (MDAs) are the bastion of massive corruption in government.