The former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, who is currently facing trial for graft cases, reportedly took stomach infrastructure to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) office by feeding over 150 people, including detainees and visitors two days ago.
The elated detainees allegedly sang the national anthem after their stomachs had been filled, as the former governor was reported to have secured lawyers for some of them and promised to assist those who have challenges meeting their bail conditions.
However, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the incident as outrageous, preposterous and embarrassing.
The Muslim group described the scenario as “a comedy of errors”.
They questioned how a man accused of stealing money belonging to the people is allowed to rewind the famous Robin Hood tape under the watch of an anti-graft agency.
The religious group in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola noted that the recent action by Fayose within the confines of the EFCC calls for seriousness within the anti-graft agency.
“EFCC and other security agencies have no business detaining people they cannot feed adequately. It is highly immoral to arrest and detain a man knowing fully well that you do not have the capacity to cater for his basic needs, namely, food, water and shelter. Should detainees be responsible forfeeding themselves? This is a national question that must be answered once and for all. Nigerians must know their rights”, the group said.
“How can we allow the same kleptomaniacs who stole our common patrimony to come and feed us with their dirty blood money in times of distress? It is mockery of the highest order and it robs us of our dignity if we welcome them with open arms. They have come to laugh at us for being foolish enough to think hardwork, honesty and patriotism alone can provide our needs. It is dehumanising. This cannot happen in saner climes. Are we serious as a people? We are nonplussed”, they added.
The group also urged the EFCC and the Nigerian security agencies to take note of the
provisions of Section 34 (i) (a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which guarantees the dignity of every Nigerian citizen.
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 4, Clause 1 & 2 also lays emphasis on the inviolability of the dignity of the human person.
The human rights group also stated that starving detainees is the same as depriving them of their dignity, as it dehumanizes them by turning them into beggars, exposing them to weakness which endangers their health.
They insisted that the power to detain is not tantamount to the power to starve; no policeman under the sun has the right to detain and starve a suspect at the same time because even the EFCC cannot fight corruption by promoting corruption.
The Muslim Rights Concern accused Fayose of being a comedian who is exploiting the poor condition of detainees just to score a cheap political point.
“How much does it cost to bail a detainee? How much does it cost to feed 150 people? He could not have spent up to N50,000. It is chicken feedcompared to the humongous amount allegedly stolen by him.
“Fayose is like a man who stole elephants but he is deceiving the people by giving out ants.
He is a pretender. We reject his Robin Hood mentality. We charge EFCC and the security agencies to spare us the horror of hunger in the cells.
“Detainees must be adequately fed by those keeping them out of circulation. They should not be subjected to the dehumanizing spectacle of fake Robin Hoods. We implore the Police Service
Commission to review conditions of detention in police cells as it affects the feeding of detainees.”