Fatai Owoseni, former commissioner of police in Lagos state, says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is seen as a monster by some people.
He said this while speaking as a panelist during the 12th annual business luncheon of SPA Ajibade & Co., a commercial law firm, in Lagos, on Thursday.
The event, chaired by Amina Augie, justice of the supreme court, who was represented by Helen Ogunwumiju, justice of the court of appeal, was themed “the forum for resolution of civil disputes: The courts v law enforcement agencies”.
Owoseni said the EFCC emerged from the creation of task forces, adding that to some persons, the anti-graft agency has become a monster.
“That task force was used to seize properties, to do all sorts of things and that was what metamorphosed into the EFCC. Depending on which side of the divide you belong, to some of us, the EFCC has become a monster,” he said.
The former CP also said the interpretation of the rule of law has become flexible depending on which side an individual views it.
“The rule of law and the application and the enforcement is interpreted based on which side of the divide you are. If you are any of these governors today, the rule of law is something to you; if you become the Vice-President today, the rule of law is another thing to you; and we are seeing it,” he said.
Another panelist, Biobele George, justice of the court of the appeal, said the EFCC and police must investigate cases properly before carrying out arrests.
“In civilised societies, you don’t arrest, detain and investigate; no! You investigate, arrest and detain. But here, you arrest before you investigate; you detain before you investigate. You are supposed to conduct preliminary investigation before you arrest somebody. It is so unfortunate, the police and the EFCC, you have to stop,” he said.