419: Arrest, parade of youths affecting Nigeria’s image – HURIWA to Buhari, NASS
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government and the National Assembly to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Act.
HURIWA made the call while lamenting over the “high turnover” of arrests of young Nigerians for alleged advance fee fraud by the EFCC.
The rights group said such arrests and media parades portrays Nigerian youths as fraudsters before the world.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said: “We have consistently advocated the end to the persistent media demonisation of accused persons by all supposed law enforcement agencies including the EFCC, the Police, NDLEA and we note that in the case of the EFCC, the growing number of young persons getting involved in advanced fees fraudulent practices is bringing lasting global opprobrium which makes other World’s citizens look at young Nigerians as fraudsters whereas the truth is that the youths who commit these atrocious crimes are less than 25% but due to media coverages, the World now thinks that all Nigerian youths are fraudsters.
“In a bid to bring this vicious circle to a manageable level, we hereby propose that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the National Assembly should work towards amendments of the relevant sections of the EFCC Act to bring it up to speed with the Administration of Criminal Justice Law so the majority of these low-level fraud cases by youngsters are classified under the non-custodial measures.
”Importantly, the National legislature should make a binding law prohibiting the constant media persecution and parades of small-time offenders under the EFCC Act so that the corporate image of Nigeria is not totally destroyed through self-inflicted overzealous tendencies of the Economic and
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