Tobi Aworinde, Abuja
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday manhandled journalists at its head office in Abuja while a group of activists, including the convener of Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, was submitting a petition addressed to the Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu.
Activist – Deji Adeyanju @adeyanjudeji & Journalists harassed by security operatives at EFCC headquarters while requesting that @officialEFCC Investigate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Over The Bullion Van Saga pic.twitter.com/YqzFKhCN1f— RootsTv (@rootstvnigeria) October 25, 2019
The activists had gone to submit a petition calling for the investigation of the source of money conveyed in bullion vans to the home of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu on the eve of the 2019 presidential election.
Other activists who signed the petition were Ariyo-Dare Atoye of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution and Adebayo Raphael of the Free Nigeria Movement.
But while Adeyanju was addressing the press by the road leading to the EFCC office, armed security details attached to the commission threatened the activists and journalists to halt the address.
As the press briefing began, two gun-wielding operatives proceeded to seize and drag the cameras from the journalists.
The harassment continued for over a minute until the protests by the journalists and the activists started to create a scene.
Turning to the security personnel, Adeyanju said, “You are busy following yahoo boys (Internet fraudsters) up and down. You are coming to intimidate people here. Why would you tell me to leave this place? The harassment is too much. This is a public institution.”
Speaking to journalists on the petition, however, Adeyanju said, “Remember, a few days ago, the EFCC challenged Nigerians that the reason they cannot investigate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the election eve bullion vans sighted at his residence was that there was no petition to that effect.
“Some of us have already taken up the challenge which is exactly the reason we are here and I believe that, as citizens of our country, we must always ensure that the right thing is done at all times.
“You can see that, even as we are addressing the press, members of the EFCC are harassing us.”
The petition noted that Section 7 (1) (b) of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004 gives the commission the power to investigate properties of any person that appears to the commission that the person’s lifestyle and extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income.
The activists called on the commission to, as a matter of urgency, “swing into action” and begin an investigation into the appearance of the bullion vans.