The Zone D (South-West) wing of the National Association of Nigerian Students (Zone D) has criticised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly “mounting road blockades” in Lagos State.
Adegboye Emmanuel Olatunji, Coordinator of NANS (Zone D) said the move by the agency was targeted at students’ leaders so as to demoralise, subdue and undermine the students constituency.
According to him, some law abiding and legitimately engaged students were illegally harassed and arrested by EFCC operatives along Itamaga-Ota Ona Road, Ikorodu on Friday.
He accused the Lagos office of the agency of deliberately frustrating every attempt by the students’ association to engage them.
The statement read, “The plight of Nigerians in the hand of security agencies is like that of the hunter and the hunted. The supposed protector who has now taken up the role of the hunter have so much pulverised and decimated the public that they are now more afraid of security agencies than the criminals.
“This illustration is lucidly true in the case of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The hitherto highly respected EFCC has sadly metamorphosed into a money spinning, profit-oriented, deal cutting, victimisation and witch-hunting outfit where every relatively successful young person is a suspect and potential victim.
“Earlier today, some law abiding and legitimately engaged students were illegally harassed and arrested by men of EFCC along Itamaga road to Ota Ona road, Ikorodu, Lagos State and all efforts to reach the EFCC Lagos branch have proven abortive; so far as the agency is deliberately frustrating every attempt by NANS to engage them.
“This illegal arrest is one out of many unfortunate and needless occurrences happening across South-West Nigeria.
“The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students South-West visited the EFCC Ibadan Zonal Head office on Monday, 4th April, 2022 and it was said that EFCC doesn’t do stop and search on no account. Extensively, any EFCC staff found on the road involving in stop and search is a criminal offense. Seeing men of the EFCC Lagos branch involving in stop and search makes us doubt the integrity and core values of EFCC and of such a LACUNA in the organization.
“In times past, EFCC and NANS have a strongly symbiotic relationship wherein collaborative efforts are conceived and implemented towards combating crimes holistically. However, things took an unfortunate turn when the agency started victimising innocent citizens.
“It is now common to see EFCC officers engaging in stop-and-search when they’re not policemen. This is alien to the normal practices of a sane and developed society. There are strong indications that the current spate of arrests is targeted at Students leaders so as to demoralise, subdue and undermine the Students Constituency.
“We admonish the EFCC to strictly obey the laws of God and law of the land in conscientiously carrying out their duties. We also want to emphatically affirm that going forward, all forms of illegitimacy meted to the students sector shall be stiffly resisted via every legal tools available to us including petitions, protests, rallies and peaceful demonstrations.
“It is imperative that all forms of stop and search or roadblocks on the main roads and students environments especially, be ended immediately. This is of utmost importance to avoid mob action against EFCC officers. Conclusively, we urge all Nigerian students in the Southwest and all Southwestern students in Nigeria to remain law abiding in concordance with our culture and also report any form infringement on their constitutional rights to the leadership of NANS in their respective states.”