Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance (CACOBAG) frowns at the illegal detention of an International Frontliner in the Anti Corruption Crusade and Chairman of Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC,)Comrade Olanrewaju Suraj.
Acccording to the statement by Toyin Raheem, Chairman of the Coalition said it is disheartening and embarrassing that Nigerian Police Force could take law into it’s hands by detaining a law abiding and patriotic Nigerian without investigation based on the petition of a suspected corrupt element ,Mr Adoke, a former Attorney General of the federation.
He said by virtue of the Police Act, the Police are expected to investigate crimes and petitions it received. saying It does not have power to detain people arbitrarily.
” Unlawful detention of Comrade Suraj is not only condemnable but also portrays the Nigeria Police Force as an agency of the government that detest collaboration and support of the people , most especially civil society practitioners who are invariably important allies in the fight against crimes.
” 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered is very emphatic when it declares in Section 24(e )
“Citizens shall render assistance to appropriate and lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order “.
“How does the Police expect Nigerians to collaborate if what the agency does is to detain patriotic citizens without investigation?
He noted that as far as malabu alleged scandal is concerned, the role played by Comrade Suraj to ensure justice is done can not be over emphasised.
” We at CACOBAG wonders if Nigeria Police Force knows how many Nigerians $1.1 billion could bring out of poverty if it did not end up in the pockets of some individuals.
He stated that CACOBAG expect Mr Adoke as a lawyer to approach the court to prove his innocence if he had no hand in the malabu scandal.
” If for any reason he feels anyone is dragging his name in the mud, why did he not approach the court as well?
” His petition against Comrade Suraj could only be likened to a child fidgeting with his or her pencil. Or is it a case of the “guilty are afraid” as James Hardley Chase titled one of his novels ?
” His petition is better written against all the leaders of Anti Corruption Groups in Nigeria and beyond.
emphasized that Anti Corruption Groups are more l united as far as malabu alledge scandal is concerned.
Tony maintained that malabu scandal is known all over the world and the facts are there.
The Chairman called on Mr Rasheed Bawa , EFCC Chairman not to keep mute on the issue, stressing that CACOBAG condemn unequivocally the allegedly unlawful detention of Comrade Suraj and demand for the Police apology to Comrade Suraj in person and to the public as well.
Raheem pointed out that detention is an embarrassment to Nigerians and ridicules among comiy of Nations.
” What does it portend if an anti corruption crusader is detained based on the petition of a suspected corrupt element without proper investigation?
He called on Police not allow itself to be used to gag anti corruption leaders that are struggling to put an end to corrupt practices that brought this country to this present state.
“In any case,no intimidation or harrassment can stop the group from forging ahead in the fight against Corruption and crimes.
“Nigeria Police Force must immediately apologise for the unlawful detention of Comrade Olanrewaju Suraj and compensate him for the infringement of his fundamental human rights.”
” Without mincing words,Comrade Olanrewaju Suraj is an impetus in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. He is one of the most credible comrades in the civil society practice that has risen to his present position by the doing hardwork and credibility.
” Therefore, nobody, not even Adoke can discredit and impugn his credibility.
” All corrupt elements in Nigeria must know Nigeria is no longer a safe haven for them” the Chairman stated.
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