…Call EFCC to order —NPAN
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA—The Presidency has justified Monday’s invasion of The Sun Publishing Company by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, saying the anti-graft agency has not acted beyond its powers.
This was even as it said the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, will continue to exist for at least the next 200 years in spite of the myriads of challenges that had continued to threaten its existence.
Speaking during the official presentation of his book, entitled, “APC: The Making of a Change Agent” to the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, also denied knowledge of any crisis in the APC.
Justifying EFCC’s invasion of The Sun headquarters in Lagos, Obla said: “EFCC has not gone after the media. What happened is that The Sun newspaper was under an order of interim forfeiture, so they (EFCC) went there to look at the property; the property was not taken away and not deprecated, and nothing is wrong with that.
“They didn’t go there because The Sun published a news story that is considered against EFCC or government, they went there to do their work as part of their mandate to fight financial crimes, and you know that the media house is owned by a former governor who is under trial.”
Call EFCC to order —NPAN
Meanwhile, the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, has called on the Federal Government to call the EFCC to order for the good of the nation and rule of law.
NPAN was reacting to Monday’s invasion of the business premises of The Sun newspapers by the anti-graft agency.
In a statement signed by the President, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, NPAN said: “The Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, has received with grave concern, the Monday, June 12,2017 invasion by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, of the Apapa, Lagos Corporate Headquarters of The Sun newspapers.
“Although the EFCC said they were there to enforce a 10-year old Interim Order of Forfeiture on the shareholding of The Sun newspapers, the Editors of The Sun newspapers said the EFCC officials were there on a vengeance and intimidation mission to settle scores on several stories published by the newspaper, including the alleged ownership of certain property by the wife of the EFCC Acting Chairman for which the Acting Chairman had threatened libel lawsuits.
“Given these developments, it is our considered view that the EFCC, being a state institution and a creation of the law, cannot be above the law: and the manner of the invasion tends to suggest that the EFCC was out on a self-help mission, a voyage to intimidate journalists, criminalise journalism and cower free speech.
“We should continue to remind ourselves that this crude tactics of invasion of media houses and harassment of journalists did not work in the past, is not going to work now, and will never work. It is unknown to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“We call on the Federal Government and all people of reason and goodwill to call the EFCC to order for the greater good of the Federal Republic Nigeria and the rule of law.”