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Alleged Attack On Protesters: CSO Seeks Reps, Senate Intervention, Accuses EFCC Of Lawlessness


A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations, comprising no fewer than sixty-four registered CSO groups have petitioned the Senate Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC over the alleged attack on peaceful protesters at the Commission's headquarters in Abuja last week. 

The Coalition in a four page petition submitted on Monday detailed how a well planned protest turned violent as the officials of the EFCC allegedly attacked demonstrators of the various CSO groups and Kogi Youth. 

They had arrived the Commission's headquarters to show their dissatisfaction over alleged refusal of the EFCC to obey court order on the ongoing case between the Commission and the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Alh Yahaya Bello which in recent times has generated unusual media frenzy.

The petition which was co-signed by Mr Richard Otitoleke and Clement Nduka alleged that the security Officials of the Commission assaulted, injured and molested the protesters and harrased journalists present. 

The petition further accused EFCC officials of vandalisation of the vehicles, musical instruments and gadgets the group brought for the protest, including two luxurious buses belonging to the Abuja Urban Mass Transit. 

They accused EFCC of causing loss of valuables belonging to the protesters, including their phones, midgets and laptops. 

Details of the petition is hereby attached here

The Chairman,

Senate Committee on Human Rights,

National Assembly (Senate Wing)




We are a joint committee of sixty-four registered Civil Society Organizations operating under the auspices of COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS. We have over a decade ago remained consistent in our advocacy for the advancement of an equitable, fair and just society through the due processes of our establishments as a country, as required of our corporate mandate and as the conscience of the society.

This petition has become expedient and very necessary in view of recent occurrences in our country, which if not properly checked, could further tighten the grip of some of our establishments (which are products of the law) being used as tools for oppression, suppression, intimidation, harassment as well as for perpetration of illegalities which could threaten not only our human rights records before the international community but also portray us as a people with no confidence in our judicial system, hence resort to self-help.

While we choose not to appear sub-judice by commenting on the ongoing impasse between the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello and the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) because of the pendency of the case in the court of justice, it is important to bring to your notice, Distinguished Senator, that on Monday, April 29, 2024, two groups of protesters staged demonstration at the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, one clearly against former Governor Yahaya Bello in solidarity with the commission. This group staged their protest seamlessly without hitches as they naturally enjoyed the Commission's protection and were attended to by the Commission. 

On the other hand, Distinguished Senator, the other group, a coalition of Civil Society Organizations and Kogi Youth group, who came with placards, banners with different inscriptions suggesting that the commission should carry out their national assignment within the confines of our constitution were brutally harassed, dispersed with teargas and gunshots. 

The protesters which the EFCC might have perceived as pro-Bello had merely taken their demonstration to the Commission's headquarters to submit a letter, urging it to explore the judicial system to pursue its case instead of the media trial against Yahaya Bello and several other high profile Nigerians whose integrity, name and characters have been assassinated and maligned by same EFCC but later won their several cases, an action that has been severally condemned as unprofessional and unnecessarily dramatic.

The protest according to our findings was largely peaceful and just as the leaders were approaching to submit their protest letter, officers of the commission started firing teargas, releasing their dogs on the demonstrators and dispersing them with gunshots. 

That is not all, Distinguished Senator, their vehicles, especially the ones rented from Abuja Urban Mass Transit were destroyed, journalists attacked, and some passersby injured as everyone scampered for safety following the unprovoked attack by those who ordinarily should protect them. 

Apart from their paper placards calling on the EFCC to go to the courtroom to advance their case as against playing to the gallery before the camera lens, nothing incriminating was found on any of the protesters, raising questions as to what prompted the EFCC and its official to unleash an unprovoked attack on harmless protesters? Does this give credence to the assumption that EFCC is only interested in persecuting and not prosecuting Yahaya Bello and most of the people they have investigated and tried in court but later won?

Their action is in sheer contravention and outright violation of the Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution as amended which confers every citizen with the Right to personal liberty, Right to fair hearing, Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, Right to freedom of expression and the press, Right to peaceful assembly and association and Right to freedom of movement. 

The action of officials of the Commission is also in violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which declares that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

It further states that they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. 

These were all brazenly observed in the breach by the EFCC and its officials and it casts our dear country in a negative light when x-rayed in the lens of our Constitution and existing international laws which our great country signed up to. 

The Commission did not deny its unprofessional conduct against the coalition of Civil Society Organizations, journalists and passersby who witnessed the disturbing episode. Their defence has only been that the demonstrators were "unruly" without a single trace of evidence, bearing in mind that there are video clips of everything that transpired on the said day. 


1. That this honourable and noble Commission should immediately set up a panel of enquiries to look into this ugly trend with a view to recommend punitive measure for whoever that erred on the matter.

2. That the honourable Committee should invite the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede to appear before it to answer to the issues raised.

3. That the honourable Committee should extend invitation to the Reporters of Africa Independent Television (AiT), Arise Television and all journalists on ground who were also victims of the barbaric attack by an institution like EFCC.

4. That the honourable Committee extend invitation to the drivers of the Abuja urban Mass Transit who drove some of the damaged vehicles and who have been suspended by their employers, Abuja Urban Mass Transit, due to the unfortunate action of EFCC destroying their buses. 

5. That the honourable Committee should invite the manager of the filling station beside the EFCC Headquarters whose station and customers on queue for fuel were badly harrased, attacked and two arrested by the Commission.

6. That the honourable Committee should consider such other things that will promote justice, fairness and rule of law in this case.

As distinguished Senators and responsible Committee members who are known for defending the rights of Nigerians where they have been breached, we are counting on you as the last hope of the common man to get justice in the interest of our nation and defence of the defenceless in the society. While we anticipate your usual kind consideration of this, please accept the assurances of our solidarity towards nation building.

Dr Clement Nduka


Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria

Richard Otitoleke,

Director of Operations.

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