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Nobel Laureate Soyinka Denounces EFCC’s Handling Of Former Minister’s Detention

In a scathing release on Monday, Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka criticized the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for what he deemed the “unjust detention” of Dr. Olu Agunloye, a former Minister of Power.

Soyinka expressed strong disapproval of the arrest, particularly in connection to the Mambilla Power Project, labeling it as questionable and a contempt of sense and justice.

The seasoned elder statesman did not mince words as he called for the immediate release of Agunloye or, as an alternative, the arrest and detention of all those implicated in what he referred to as the “mammoth scam” surrounding the Mambilla power project. 

Soyinka’s release emphasized the need for accountability, stating, “The detention of any former public servant under circumstances such as Agunloye also provokes the question: how is public interest – such as the pursuit of justice – served by such arbitrary exercise of power?”

Highlighting his history of engagement with the EFCC, Soyinka recounted his efforts in promoting the organization’s mission while insisting on lawful operations and citizen entitlement.

 He cited instances where he had intervened to advocate for a more civilized approach in contrast to brute force, even bringing President Kagame of Rwanda to Nigeria for a conference on tackling corruption.

Soyinka sharply criticized what he referred to as the EFCC’s “Trial or Smear by Media” tactics, particularly in the case of Agunloye, deeming it unworthy and counterproductive. 

He stressed that such sensationalist approaches hinder genuine citizens from engaging in public service, presenting a lamentable obstacle to the nation’s development.

The laureate revealed that Agunloye, who had been declared wanted by the EFCC, had openly attended a public event just hours before being apprehended.

 Soyinka questioned the legitimacy of the arrest and detention, revealing information he had gathered indicating that the Head of the EFCC insisted on releasing Agunloye only upon the President’s instructions.

Taking a firm stand, Soyinka called for the release of all EFCC detainees or, alternatively, the arrest and detention of those implicated in the alleged scam surrounding the Mambilla Power Project. 

He concluded by urging the EFCC to redirect its focus toward bringing closure to the issue and contributing to the nation’s productive fulfillment amid challenging times.

 

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