Abuja Lawyer Narrates Alleged Assault of Benue Citizen by EFCC Officials
Human Rights Lawyer Alleges Assault by EFCC Operatives on Benue Citizen
In a disturbing incident that has raised questions about the conduct of law enforcement agencies, Abuja-based human rights lawyer Pelumi Olajengbesi, has come forward to narrate an alleged case of assault involving overzealous operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The incident reportedly took place at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja.
Olajengbesi, the Managing Partner of Law Corridor, recounted the incident that occurred on Wednesday, when he accompanied a citizen from Benue to the EFCC office. The lawyer had advised the citizen to voluntarily turn himself in for investigation at the agency’s office in connection with an ongoing case. Olajengbesi took to his Facebook page on Thursday to share a detailed account of the incident that unfolded.
According to his post, upon arriving at the EFCC Headquarters, specifically the Capital Market (CFMIS) department, Olajengbesi was shocked by the behavior of the officers who were expected to be seasoned investigators with ethical experience and professionalism. The lawyer expressed disbelief as he observed the alleged assault taking place. He claimed that the officers subjected the citizen to physical abuse, including slaps and forcefully banging the citizen’s head against a wall.
Olajengbesi detailed, “The investigating officer confirmed his identity and promptly ordered him inside, referring to him with derogatory language, ‘the bastard they were looking for’. As he stepped in, he was met with a series of brutal slaps from another woman, presumably the 2IC (second in command). The assault continued relentlessly, shocking me beyond belief.”
The lawyer also pointed out one officer, identified as Chidera Godwin, for his alleged excessive brutality. Olajengbesi described the manner of assault as crude and uncivilized, questioning the officer’s education and humanity. He further claimed that Chidera humiliated the citizen by repeatedly slapping him and banging his head against the wall.
Olajengbesi reported the incident to the SERVICOM department within the EFCC, which reportedly responded swiftly and professionally. However, the officers accused of the assault denied the allegations. In an unsettling revelation, another EFCC officer reportedly made light of the situation by saying, “You dey report EFCC to EFCC.”
When reached for comment, Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesperson for the EFCC, stated that he was not aware of the incident. “No notice of such thing has been brought to my knowledge. If such things happen within the premises, there are ways of dealing with it. So, I can’t make a comment on that because I don’t have information regarding that,” Uwujaren told our correspondent on Thursday morning.
The allegations of assault within the premises of the EFCC have sparked concerns about the behavior of law enforcement agencies and their adherence to professional conduct standards. The incident has prompted discussions about the need for transparency, accountability, and the protection of citizens’ rights during investigations.
This incident also underscores the importance of human rights defenders like Pelumi Olajengbesi, who play a crucial role in highlighting and addressing such alleged abuses. As this story develops, it is expected to bring renewed attention to the conduct of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria and the measures in place to ensure the fair treatment of citizens under investigation.