A civil society group, Justice and Equity Forum, has urged President Bola Tinubu not to allow interested individuals to interfere in the ongoing investigation of former Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi by the anti-graft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged money laundering.
The forum made the call in a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Olumide Adetifa, in Abuja on Thursday.
Adetifa alleged that available information revealed that Fayemi was hobnobbing with a former governor of Kebbi State, who is from the same state as the chairman of EFCC in an attempt to undermine or truncate his investigation by the agency.
He also urged the president not to allow himself to be drawn into the arena of hindering justice by suspects.
Adetifa called on all leaders of thought, law enforcement agencies, and concerned citizens to remain vigilant, support the ongoing investigation and report any instances of hobnobbing that come to their attention.
“It is only through collective efforts that we can safeguard the integrity of our justice system and ensure that justice is served,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fayemi had in a statement by his Media Adviser, Ahmad Sajoh, recently confirmed being invited by the anti-graft agency over alleged money laundering under his administration.
Adetifa said that the group strongly condemned any attempt at hobnobbing aimed at undermining ongoing investigations against the former governor.
“We firmly believe in upholding the principles of justice, accountability, and transparency, and it is with great concern that we address this issue today.
“Any form of hobnobbing, such as engaging in close social or professional relationships with the intent to protect or shield a suspect from facing legal consequences, poses a significant threat to the integrity and effectiveness of criminal investigations.
“Such actions obstruct the pursuit of truth, compromise the rights of victims, and erode public trust in the legal system,” he said.
He said the that group firmly believed that no individual should be above the law and that everyone must be held accountable for their actions.
“The deliberate interference in investigations undermines the tireless efforts of law enforcement agencies and disregards the rights of victims and society as a whole, which seek justice and closure,” he said.
He said that the organisation stood in solidarity with all law enforcement agencies and legal professionals dedicated to upholding the rule of law over the issue of Ekiti treasury.
He also called on individuals in positions of power and influence to prioritise justice over personal relationships and ensure that the investigation process remains independent, transparent and fair.
He said that the consequences of hobnobbing to undermine criminal investigations are far-reaching with a lasting impact on the society.
“It perpetuates a culture of impunity, allows criminals to evade justice, and fosters an environment where criminal activities can thrive without consequences. We must not allow such actions to go unchecked.
“It is only through collective efforts that we can safeguard the integrity of our justice system and ensure that justice is served,” he added.
He pledged that as an organisation committed to promoting justice and accountability, his group would continue to advocate for the rights of the Ekiti people.
He added that the group would continue to raise awareness about the importance of independent investigations, and hold accountable those who attempt to obstruct the course of justice.