No shooting at pro-Yahaya Bello protesters in Abuja – EFCC

Mr Oyewale said that there was no shooting at any protester at the commission on Monday.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has denied allegation of shooting at pro-Yahaya Bello protesters at its headquarters on Monday in Abuja.

Spokesman for the commission, Dele Oyewale, said this while responding to reports that the commission’s operatives attacked the protesters

Mr Oyewale said that there was no shooting at any protester at the commission on Monday.

He said the operatives only dispersed the protesters who went to the commission’s headquarters to disrupt activities.

”No arrests were made as claimed by the group. No two groups demonstrated at the commission today. The first group came with a letter of commendation in support of the EFCC anti-corruption fight.

”They presented their letter, which was received by the Director of Public Enlightenment Department, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, who promised to deliver their message to the chairman. Not quite after, another group came, these people were violent and destructive, the men of the commission had to chase them away. It is not true, nobody was arrested and there was no shootout,” he said.

The pro-Yahaya Bello group is supporting the immediate past governor of Kogi State who is in hiding to evade prosecution by the EFCC over alleged corruption.

The pro-Bello protest was staged by the Kogi Youth Coalition.

The protesters claimed they were attacked by operatives of the commission. The group claimed that the first group of protesters were allowed into the commission but the pro- Yahaya Bello group were denied entry.

Videos of the protesters struggling to make their statements while being harassed and scampering for safety flooded the social media with a picture of a badly damaged vehicle.

The group claimed that at least 10 of the members were arrested while many were injured. They said they staged the protest to counter what they described as an EFCC-sponsored protest and vowed to resist the intimidation, and urged President Bola Tinubu to call EFCC to order.

The Head of the Kogi Youth Coalition, Otitoleke Richard, while speaking on the attack said, “We’re here this morning at the headquarters of EFCC in Abuja, addressing a topical national issue that has to do with the rule of law, the defence of democratic governance in Nigeria.

“We have been intimidated, we have been harassed. The EFCC is saying we do not have the right to express our opinion on national issues. We have been shot at; they have used their sticks to beat ordinary Nigerians that are harmless. We shall continue to air our opinion for democracy to thrive in Nigeria. Nigeria is not a banana republic. We’re saying the rule of law must be applied in all corruption files. You cannot fight corruption with lawlessness.”

A protester, identified only as Malik, said it was unfortunate that peaceful protests that were a right of every Nigerian had now been made selective by the commission.

“Why didn’t they attempt to disperse those Igala boys that protested against the former governor, can you imagine? EFCC sponsoring Muri Ajaka’s boys to support them and call Yahaya Bello out? Nigerians should not be fooled to think anybody is fighting any corruption. They just want him out. Period. But we are saying they can’t disgrace him. He has done more than any governor for us in Kogi and all these people know.  This will not make us afraid of asking for our rights. We will continue,” he said.


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