Protest: EFCC Strengthens Security in Lagos, Abuja Offices

Sunday Ehigiator

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) headquarters in Lagos and Abuja have been fortified with heavy security as a precautionary measure against a planned protest, scheduled by some aggrieved youths against the commission.
The protest scheduled to begin yesterday, July 5, 2024, tagged #ReformEFCC, is demanding reforms within the commission.
In Lagos, operatives from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and the Department of State Services (DSS) have been deployed to strategic locations around the EFCC office on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi. The security presence includes patrol vans, anti-riot gun trucks, and Black Marias.
In Abuja, THISDAY observed the presence of joint security forces, including operatives of the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) both at the operational headquarters in Jabi and the zonal office located at Wuse 2 in Abuja.
An EFCC official who pleaded anonymity said the security has been directed to keep vigil around the commission to ensure that nobody protests anywhere close to the commission.
The EFCC had fingered a former governor, and two ex-ministers for spearheading the protest against the agency.
The protesters have outlined six key demands, including, “An end to indiscriminate arrests and invasion of homes, stop to property destruction during sting operations, an end to profiling young Nigerians, and a halt to assaulting and manhandling Nigeria.”

The protest organisers emphasise that the demonstration is peaceful, people-centred, and apolitical, aimed at reforming the EFCC for better performance. They warn that any attempts to politicise the protest will be met with swift action.

However, the EFCC had raised alarm over a plan by a shadowy group to instigate a “protest” against the commission.

The commission Spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, who raised the alarm on Wednesday in Abuja, disclosed that the group had been actively campaigning on social media, recruiting impressionable young Nigerians, including students to take up “arms” against the EFCC.

According to Oyewale, the campaign is being promoted as resistance to the commission’s operational activities, especially regarding the enforcement of the laws dealing with cybercrimes.

“Commission, while not averse to protests by citizens, is alarmed by emerging evidence that suggests a grand design by corrupt elements under investigation or prosecution by the commission to exploit the so-called protest to orchestrate a national uprising that may threaten the peace and security of our dear nation.

“As a responsible law enforcement organisation, the commission will not tolerate any breakdown of law and order anywhere in the country, especially around its office locations across Nigeria.

“EFCC, working in concert with sister security agencies, is therefore taking necessary measures to deal with possible threats to the peace and security of Nigeria.”

The spokesman appealed to parents, guardians and heads of tertiary institutions to take responsibility for ensuring that their wards are not recruited to be used as cannon fodder in a proxy war against the commission by vested corrupt interests.

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