Coalition of human rightsâ€™ groups called on the South-South Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ishaq Salisu, to desist over his verbal attack against the embattled political godson of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. George Turnah.Â
The groups in a statement jointly signed by Abdol Jega and Daniel Igbudu, stated that the recent media vituperations by Salisu against Turner, who was Special Assistant on Youth Matters to former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Dan Abia, were punishable breaches of the Code of Conduct of Public Service and consequently Oath of Secrecy.
According to the statement, â€œSalisu, apart from his most recent media vituperations in which he falsely accused Turnah of forgeries and a former staff of only two establishments, was reported to have addressed a group of protesters on the May 22 in Port Harcourt wherein he recklessly and summarily â€˜convictedâ€™ Mr. Turnah who is yet to be proven guilty by a competent court of law, though arraigned by the EFCC before a Port Harcourt Federal High Court over allegations bordering on obtaining by false pretence and money laundering.
â€œCharacters like Salisu are causing problems for EFCC with their appetite and penchant for media trial and convictions as well as overzealousness. Is Salisu EFCCâ€™s Head of Corporate Affairs, Media or Legal to address protesters and the press on issues that the Court should be the arbiter or he has a vested interest in the matter?â€, the human rights activists queried.
The group while stressing the need for caution from the anti-graft agencies, however, advised the EFCC and its Staff to respect citizensâ€™ rights to presumption of innocence desists from acting as an intimidation agency and well as not takes actions that amount to usurping the powers of Court by entering a final determination of guilt on suspects. EFFC being a creation of law to conduct itself within the ambits of the laws of the land and not to give credence to hired protesters.
â€œSalisu should be preparing to meet Turnah in â€œPhilippiâ€ to answer to the ensuing defamation suit, as the suit is to be instituted against Ishaq Salisu and not EFCC.â€