The Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have pledged to further strengthen their existing relationship in order to better protect the human rights of Nigerians.
The two agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria made the pledge in Ibadan on Thursday when a team of the NHRC officials in Oyo State paid a courtesy visit to the Ibadan zonal office of the EFCC.
While disclosing the essence of the visit, the state coordinator of the NHRC and leader of the team, Barrister Oyindamola Bamgbose, noted that the commission sought to announce its presence in the state capital to all strategic stakeholders, having been inaugurated in the state in February.
“We used to have zonal offices in places across the country. But the commission has decided to have presence in all states of the federation. Oyo’s was one of the last batch of the offices created and we thought we must make our presence known to our critical stakeholders to further strengthen our relationship with them,” she said.
Bamgbose said the mandate of the commission was to promote, protect and enforce human rights of people within the Nigerian territory.
She explained that they equally carry out visitations to prisons and detention centres to ensure that rights of suspects are not breached while still in the custody of law enforcement agencies.
The Ibadan zonal head of the EFCC, Friday Ebelo, in his welcome address, said the anti-graft agency always ensure that no suspect is denied any of his/her rights as stipulated by the laws of the land.
He however noted that some suspects end up spending more days in the cell while trying to exercise their right to make their statements in the presence of their lawyer.
“We know they have such right which we always allow them to exercise. But some of them will remain in the cell for days when no lawyer shows up to stand for them as we take their statement.
“In such cases, they delay their own prosecution, and those cases we can not really help” he said.
Ebelo added that apart from ensuring that the suspects in the EFCC custody are fed three times a day, the commission provides a modicum of comfort in its detention facilities across the country.
“Suspects’ rights are of priority to us and we make sure no innocent person is detained,” he reiterated.