It is clear and stated in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended that an accused remains innocent until proven guilty; hence, he/she should not be detained for more than 24 hours without being charged to court. But the reverse is the case of the 16 suspects of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Ibadan Currency scam as information reaching our newsdesk has it that they have been unjustly detained for over four and the half years (prison calendar) having applied for bail severally without success.
SecretReporters in its investigation learnt that this case was the first EFCC case celebrated under the current administration of President Mohammadu Buhari. It is also purported that it is the only EFCC financial case whose suspects have been denied bail in Nigeria since the advent of the present administration as the suspects were first arraigned on the 2nd and 3rd of June 2015 at Ibadan Federal High Court 1 and 2 respectively, thereby resulting into unbearable hardship and difficulties for them in detention even when they appealed the court ruling on their bail on grounds of deteriorating health conditions.
Further findings by our reporters also revealed that in the course of the investigation, EFCC invited more than 60 bankers from CBN’s various commercial banks most particularly those who worked in the treasury department, vault and cash management sections of both the CBN and Commercial Banks between 2008 and 2012 for interrogations in which no positive headway was made by the agency rather bribes were collected from those who were willing to give while the rest were coerced into writing indicting statements against the 16 suspects. However, the suspects were charged to court after EFCC used the media to malign them with the aim of stirring the public against them.
According to a petition received by us, it’s alleged that the Investigating Officer, Hammadama Bello who has a direct link to the former SGF, Babachi Lawal, once boasted to the suspects before the commencement of the trials that if the suspects refuse to play to his scripts, no court in Nigeria would grant them bail owing to his personal feud and hatred for the Yorubas. It was also alleged that he had a personal score to settle with Yorubas because of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi who prevented his late uncle; Rtd. Justice Mohammed Bello (JCS) from becoming the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). Bello is seeing to his threat as the suspects have been remanded in prison custody for over four and the half years according to the prison calendar.
However, some of the mothers, wives, and children of these suspects staged a peaceful protest in the premises of the Federal High Court Ibadan on Monday, July 2nd, 2018. The families of the suspects cried out, pleading and seeking interventions of political leaders, human rights activists, international organizations and socio-cultural groups to wave into the matter with a view of securing the freedom of their husbands, fathers, and sons on bail while the trial continues.
Since the genesis of this case, the families of the 16 suspects have been evicted from their residence as EFCC Officials confiscated their property leaving them homeless with no roof over their heads as it is also alleged that the officials are in the business of collecting rents illicitly on the seized property. More so, the children of these suspects have been sent out of their schools as a result of the inability of their family to foot the bills.
Below are the names of the suspects still held in Agodi Prison without bail:
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All attempts made to reach the EFCC spokesman Mr. Wilson as at press time proved abortive as he didn’t pick his calls neither did he reply to the message sent to his mobile number.