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Obstructing Officers on Duty Attracts 5-Year Jail Term – EFCC Warns

The EFCC warns that obstructing its operations is a criminal offense, punishable by law.

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efcc warns
EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede

The EFCC warns that obstructing its operations is a criminal offense, punishable by law.

Following an operation involving a former Kogi State governor, the commission emphasized the seriousness of attempts to hinder its officers’ work.

Those who interfere face a minimum five-year jail term.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a stern warning to the public against preventing its officers from performing their legal duties, emphasizing that such actions are punishable offenses.

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VerseNews reports that the warning follows a recent EFCC operation at the home of former Kogi State governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello, in which he was to be apprehended and charged for an alleged N80.2 billion money laundering scheme.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Head of Media & Publicity at the EFCC cited Section 38(2)(a)(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act, which makes it an offense to obstruct the commission’s officers. Offenders face a minimum jail term of five years.

The EFCC noted a concerning trend where individuals and groups under investigation are resorting to using thugs to hinder its lawful operations.

In a separate statement, the agency revealed that Kogi State Governor Usman Ododo infiltrated the security perimeter at the former governor’s residence in Abuja and aided in the suspect’s escape using his official vehicle.

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The EFCC highlighted the restraint its operatives have shown in the face of such provocations to avoid conflict but stressed that this should not be mistaken for weakness. Moving forward, the commission will take punitive actions against any attempts to obstruct its operations.

EFCC Statement

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission wishes to warn members of the public that it is a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.

Section 38(2)(a(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties. Culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years.

This warning becomes necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC.

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On several occasions, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order. Regrettably, such disposition is being construed as a sign of weakness.

The Commission, therefore, warns that it will henceforth not tolerate any attempt by any person or organisation to obstruct its operation as such will be met with appropriate punitive actions.

Dele Oyewale

Head, Media & Publicity

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April 17, 2024

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