Frontline Anti-corruption Civil Society Organisations, numbering over 130, have resumed their call for the caution of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and saction of its chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, over alleged disobedience of court orders.
The groups had marched on Lagos for one week to register their grievances before the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Speaking a a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the activists who were joined by over 20 constitution lawyers, led by Barr. Mogbojuri Kayode of the Citizens Rights Advocacy Group, noted that they would continue to protest until justice is done…….continue Reading
The leaders of the struggle said it was a thing of honour that, despite the immense pressure mounted on them to abandon their objective cause, over 120 of the main actors had remained resolute while more had joined in the interest of the rule of law.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for bailing the country out of what they described as a judicial quagmire “by dissociating the Presidency from any act of disobedience to court orders and making the Central Bank of Nigeria comply with a Supreme Court order that extended the validity of old naira notes till December 31, 2023.”
Spokesperson for the Coalition, Olufemi Lawson, said: “As this is expected to ease the pain of the masses, we hereby call on the President to also wade into the seeming fixation of the EFCC on certain individuals and the desperation of the Chairman of the Commission to score cheap political goals through unwarranted media trials of non-convicted individuals in the country. He should direct Mr. Bawa to step aside until he purges himself of contempt as ruled by a High Court.”
Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, Debo Adeniran, noted that Bawa’s disobedience to court orders questions his situability for the job.
He said “Nobody is above the law. Everybody should be equal before the law. If we don’t allow the rule of law to govern our society, then we are plunging our society into that kingdom where anarchy rules, where there will be chaos and where there will be no control over who does what, and that would be a disorganised society.
“This would only draw back the gains we have made over the years when we thought that we had struggled ourselves out of the stranglehold of the military. This is not expected of a born-again democrat that our President now claims to be. For how long will our President allow impunity to govern our society before he knows that he has to exercise his enormous power to insist that the rule of law that he has relied upon over the years holds sway?
“Those in authority are duty-bound to ensure that judgements of any court, even if by a drunken judge, are implemented by the Police Force. And if the Police Force refuses to implement it, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He should call them to order, instruct the Inspector-General of Police to implement the order. If the President also refuses to insist that the rule of law should be held sacrosanct, then there would be protests without end.
“We will continue until the rule of law is obeyed. Everybody should be equal before the law.”
Spokesperson for the Transparency and Accountability Group, Ayodeji Ologun, noted that in spite of pressure from different quarters, patriotic activists have refused to be bought over in their struggle.
According to him, “we are repeating that we are not against the fight against corruption. But if the successes of the EFCC must stay, we cannot continue to have Bawa heading that agency………continue Reading
The protests against Bawa are being led by CACOL Chairman, Debo Adeniran; Executive Director, Zero Graft Centre, Kolawole Sanchez-Jude; Chairman, Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance, Toyin Raheem; Executive Director, Centre for Public Accountability, Olufemi Lawson; Spokesperson for the Transparency and Accountability Group, Ayodeji Ologun; Director, Activists for Good Governance, Declan Ihehaire; and Ahmed Balogun of Media Rights Concern, among over 120 notable leaders of Anti-corruption CSOs.