NUJ, NGE condemn EFCC's invasion of The SUN newspapers
19 Giugno, 2017, 06:26
The EFCC, however, said the visit to the head office of the newspaper was part of routine efforts to ascertain the state of the assets of the publishing company which was subject of subsisting interim forfeiture order.
"For one gruelling hour, EFCC operatives subjected our staff to crude intimidation, psychological and emotional trauma", it said.
The SUN today filed an action at an Abuja High Court to restrain the EFCC, while the Nigerian Union of Journalists said it would also sue the EFCC over the alleged invasion of the newspaper.
According to the statement, the EFCC operatives, who claimed to have "orders from above", sealed up the premises of The Sun Publishing Limited and ordered the security personnel at the company to take them round the company premises at gunpoint.
Owned by a former governor of Abia, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, the media firm is the subject of a forfeiture order obtained by the EFCC in a money laundering suit filed against Kalu.
Explaining its action carried out in the early hours of Monday, June 12, 2017, the EFCC said it had earlier written to the management of the company to account for its management of the assets for the period of a subsisting court order.
The motion which was filed by counsel to the company, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) further drew the attention of the court to a pending motion for stay of execution of the ex-parte interim order of forfeiture.
"In the light of the above, we strongly view this onslaught against The Sun as a personal vendetta by the leadership of the Commission, and by extension a declaration of war against the media", it added.
It urged the EFCC to put an end to its current attempts to gag the Press and tender an unreserved apology to the SUN Publishing Limited.
"On the issue of the interim order, which he purportedly based his invasion, Magu knows the matter has been on appeal since 2007 for which hearing comes up this week".
"We want the general public to take note of this authoritarianism and high-handedness, which has been the hallmark of Magu's leadership of the EFCC".
"The claim that 'EFCC operatives subjected our staff to crude intimidation, psychological and emotional trauma, even as some of the men accused our organisation of publishing pro-Biafra, Boko Haram, and Niger Delta Militant stories, ' is odd and clearly the figment of the imagination of the Sun".
The EFCC said this in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Monday.
The Council, therefore, gave EFCC a 72-hour ultimatum to publicly apologise to The Sun management and the affected staff for the un warrarranted siege "failure which we will not hesitate to ask our team of lawyers to seek redress in court".
"The Commission still awaits the response of The Sun and will not be distracted by any attempt to whip up sentiments by alluding to an appeal which has been pending for 10 years".
The other charge of publishing Biafra, Boko Haram and Niger Delta militant stories is very ridiculous, baseless and anti-Press freedom.
"There was no reason to molest anybody as the commission has always related professionally with the publishing outfit".
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