Erudite human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has dragged the Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, EFCC and other security agencies to court for alleged violation of the rights of accused persons via pre-trial media parade.
Falana, on Monday, argued before a Federal High Court in Abuja that media parade common among the security agencies is not only prejudicious, but also humiliating and tortous.
He said, “The various security and anti-graft agencies are in the habit of exposing persons accused of committing criminal offences to media trial, media parade even before criminal charges are filed against them in Courts of law against thereby prejudging them and breaching their fundamental rights to presumption of innocence and against torture as enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 and the Anti- Torture Act, 2017 respectively.”
Those listed in the suit apart from the EFCC, are the Inspector General of Police, Attorney General of the Federation, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigerian Navy, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.
Falana is asking the court for a “A declaration that the pre-trial media parade of criminal suspects by the Respondents is illegal, null and void as it violates Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Also, “A declaration that pre-trial media parade of criminal suspects by the Respondents has been prohibited by Section 2(xi) of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017.