NUJ criticises EFCC over invasion of Journalist’s home in Anambra

NUJ criticises EFCC over invasion of Journalist's home in Anambra

The Abia State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has expressed concern over the invasion of Norah Okafor’s home by agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Port Harcourt zone on Wednesday (22/09/2021), calling it a national embarrassment.

The union expressed sadness in a statement released on Saturday titled ‘EFCC ON A WRONG MISSION IN A JOURNALIST’S HOME, A NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT,’ in which EFCC officials allegedly busted into Norah’s apartment after disconnecting the wire used to electrify the fence, scaling the wall, and breaking the gate key to gain unfettered access into the building.

Comrade Victor Ndukwe, Chairman of NUJ Abia State Chapter, described the occurrence as a horror’scene from a hit office box’ in the victim’s testimony, and took a jab at the EFCC officers for what turned out to be a botched operation.

The union said, “After subjecting the poor lady and other occupants of the building to over two hours of grueling physical stress, emotional trauma and destruction of their properties in the name of searching for non-existent incriminating evidence, the operatives declared “we have just wasted our time.”

“The declaration, in clear language, is a wholehearted, voluntary expression and admission of a disastrous omission of a mission; that they were in in the wrong place clearly for the wrong reason and at the wrong time. This leaves a sour taste in the mouth, to say the least.

“It is evident that this Gestapo-style invasion by the EFCC operatives was shy of due diligence and betrays the agency’s claim that it arrested about 21 suspected Yahoo boys in Umuahia during that operation without any incident because it was preceded by due diligence and verified intelligence! Nothing could be farther from the truth.

You can’t subject an innocent and decent individual to such a terrifying, life-shortening, unforgettable experience and claim to have done your homework based on excellent intelligence.

“It is common knowledge that in every of this kind of EFCC operation, nay any other security arm in Nigeria, is fraught with visiting a very high degree of both mental and physical torture on their targets who, oftentimes are innocent, as exemplified in the case of Norah.

“May we remind EFCC that it was this form of brutality visited on Nigerians, especially the youths and innocent, that birthed the nationwide #ENDSARS protest and we cannot forget the dire consequences in a hurry.

“It is trite that no society is without criminal elements. But in hunting down these criminal elements, the security agents must, as a matter of the rules of engagement, employ utmost discretion and apply a high degree of caution in tracking their targets as invading the homes of the innocent constitutes the worst form of violation of the fundamental human rights of citizens.

“The Council condemns in totality the midnight invasion of Norah’s residence which amounts to a brazen violation of her fundamental human rights, a naked display, and awfully wrong application of power by the EFCC.

“The Council demands an immediate unreserved apology from the EFCC for this inexplicable wrong mission and remedy for all damages.

“In this digital age, it is high time the EFCC reviewed its modus operandi by deploying technology in its operations of tracking suspects, to end its constant picking on wrong targets and subjecting innocent citizens to untold torture and national embarrassment.”

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