The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has vowed to apprehend the promoter of a fake EFCC Cell report in the social media, claiming its Port Harcourt holding facility is overcrowded and alleging mistreatment of detainees. Head of the Port Harcourt Zonal office, Usman Imam speaking at a media briefing today, February 12, 2020, dismissed the report as fake news.
According to the report, “the picture of detainees crammed into an open-air cell purported to belong to the EFCC Zonal office in Port Harcourt is fake. The images are strange to us”.
He further stated that the Commission, “does not have an open-cell, our cell is a stand-alone facility with no close proximity to any storey building; we have never had large inmates that the cell could not accommodate, and we have no history of mistreatment of detainees”. .
He noted that suspects being tried by the Commission prefer to be remanded in EFCC custody. “If the Commission had been abusing the rights of detainees, they would not prefer its facility to prison”, he added.
The Zonal Head described the tweet as a mischievous fabrication intended to mislead the public and ridicule the Commission. He vowed that the culprit would be tracked, arrested and prosecuted.
The Commission in reacting to the alleged EFCC Cell on Tuesday in a statement by the Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Tony Orilade said the anti-graft agency boasts of one of the best holding facilities in the country, calling the tweet as not just the imagination of its author, but a mischief and a calculated attempt to smear the hard-earned reputation of the Commission.
He added that “Contrary to the fake EFCC Cell pictures circulated by the said media house, the holding cell facility in Port Harcourt Zonal Office, like all other EFCC cells, boasts of a high degree of decency. Therefore, cannot be the open dumping facility, surrounded by razor-wired walls, depicted in the picture that was mischievously circulated”.
Mr Tony Orilade stating further said:
“It is important to further clarify that EFCC detention centres are known for their remarkable care for detainees in line with our avowed respect for human right and dignity“.
He also said that: “the Commission can state without fear of contradiction that our Port Harcourt detention facility, like all others across the country, is further bolstered by a well-equipped medical centre that attends to the health needs of detainees
These detainees are further fed three square meals daily from the same canteen that service officers and men of the Commission.
Were it not so, suspects standing trial for corruption would not prefer to be remanded in the custody of the Commission to those of the nation’s Correctional Centres. It is on record that no detainee has challenged the Commission for rights violation in court.
It is well understood that this misleading tweet intends to embarrass the Commission.
This has left us with no other choice than to investigate the brains behind it and to consequently take any further needful action that may serve as a deterrent to all other mischief-makers in this mould”.
“The EFCC is a responsible law enforcement agency, locally and internationally acclaimed for its outstanding achievements in the fight against corruption in the country.
The Commission welcomes criticisms, so long as they are meaningful and constructive, but frowns at premeditated attempts to drag its hard-earned reputation and image to the mud” Mr Tony Orilade added.