For the first time in 13 years, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday opened the doors of its interrogation rooms and its cells to reporters to inspect.
Chairman of the anti-graft agency Ibrahim Magu said the Commission does not torture suspects because it is investigating non-violence crimes.
He added that the anti-graft agency had always put the interest of the country above any other consideration.
Magu, who personally conducted reporters round the EFCC cells and clinics for about an hour, asked Nigerians or organisations to feel free to go and inspect any detention facility of the commission in all parts of the country without notice.
He said: “I am telling you that our detention facility is one of the best in this country. I will be modest to say it is the best. You can look at the comfort we have provided for suspects, including state of the art toilet facilities.
“If you have any doubt, you can walk in to inspect our detention facility in Abuja or in any of our zonal offices at any time and without notice. We have nothing to hide at all.
“We did not tell all these suspects that you were coming for inspection, we wanted you to meet them in a natural state and form your opinion.
“We don’t torture people or suspects. Our kind of investigation is non-violence crime; we have no basis to torture people.
“We investigate financial crimes in line with international best practices. If the EFCC invites you, we must have done a lot of background check and all we will ask you is to corroborate our findings.
“After conducting the initial part of our investigation, we make sure we give bail to suspects. It is now left to these suspects to meet the conditions attached to the bail.”
He, however, said the commission was not opposed to criticisms.
He added: “I am happy that every action or inaction of this commission is subjected to interpretation and criticisms. These criticisms will give us room to improve.
“We are all human beings, we are not perfect. There is no perfection in what we do. We have changed; we are still trying to change.
“We work for the interest of this country and the interest of this country is above any other interest or person.”
During the inspection, some of the inmates were reading newspapers, observing afternoon prayers inside a cell which has been designated as a mosque, or on siesta break.
The cells and trash cans were filled with empty bottles of water provided by the commission.
The President of the cell, who spoke with reporters and sought protection for his name and photograph, said: “None of us has experienced any torture since we were detained. We eat what we like and the medical service is made available to us for 24 hours.
“Freedom is priceless. If there is anything we are missing, it is just our freedom but we know this detention is temporary.”
Source : The Nation