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SERAP to Osinbajo: Improve safety and security of EFCC officials

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo to “direct the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Kpotun Idris to lead the investigation of Wednesday’s attack by gunmen on the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja and threat to the lives of its officials, and bring anyone suspected to be responsible to justice without delay.”

The EFCC this week reported attack on its premises and a death threat to its official Ishaku Sharu, who heads the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Fraud Section and oversees corruption investigation involving several politically exposed persons. This followed another attack on EFCC investigator, Austin Okwor, who was shot and wounded by unknown assailants in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

In a statement today by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale the organization said that, “We stand with the EFCC as it works to carry out its mandates to prevent and combat grand corruption. We condemn any attacks against the agency and its officials which are clearly aimed at harassing, intimidating and stopping them from prosecuting grand corruption cases. We urge the EFCC to remain steadfast to its mandates and not be intimidated by these attacks and threats.”

The statement reads in part: “SERAP urges Professor Osinbajo to instruct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami SAN and the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Kpotun Idris to immediately improve the system of protection for the officials of EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies. Promoting and ensuring the safety and security of those in the frontline of the fight against corruption is the surest way to demonstrate the government’s commitment to combat the problem and end impunity of perpetrators.”

“The protection, safety and security of anti-corruption agencies and their officials is absolutely critical to fighting grand corruption and holding those in power to account. The absence of enhanced protection and security for the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies could ruin the government’s anti-corruption efforts and weaken citizens’ trust and confidence in its ability to effectively and successfully prosecute grand corruption cases.

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