• Fri. May 24th, 2024

Civil Society Organizations Condemn EFCC For Exposing Minors In Corruption Investigations

ByHybrid News

Apr 29, 2024

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have strongly criticized the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for its handling of sensitive information regarding minors during corruption investigations. The condemnation comes in the wake of revelations involving the children of Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi State, whose identities were disclosed by the EFCC.

During a press conference in Lagos on Monday, representatives from various anti-corruption groups expressed their dismay over the EFCC’s breach of the Child’s Rights Act, which they argue puts the children at risk and subjects them to unnecessary trauma. The groups argued that revealing such details not only jeopardizes the safety of the minors but also exposes them to public and peer ridicule.

Debo Adeniran, Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), emphasized the broader implications of the EFCC’s actions, stating, “Law is about justice. Justice is about humanity. Humanity is about our common good as a people.” He stressed that minors should not become collateral victims of their parents’ alleged misdemeanors.

The organizations cited several sections of the Child’s Rights Act, notably Section 35 which prohibits harmful publications about a child, and highlighted the EFCC’s failure to adhere to these protections. They argued that the commission’s approach contravenes both national laws and international conventions aimed at safeguarding children.

Following the conference, the CSOs held a peaceful protest to call for the protection of minors’ identities during such high-profile investigations. They demanded that the EFCC issue an apology to the affected minors and refrain from sensationalizing its operations, which they claim undermines the integrity of the anti-corruption fight.

The coalition reiterated the importance of following due legal processes and respecting court protocols to ensure that all individuals, especially vulnerable children, are treated with the dignity and protection they deserve under the law. They vowed to continue their advocacy to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights of minors embroiled in legal controversies not of their own making.

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