The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been asked to desist from media trial of former Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu and ensure that his trial is fair.
At a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups, COCSG said it had noticed the way media trial was undermining constitutional provisions for prosecuting such cases, adding that due process and fair hearing must be adhered to at all times in the quest to administer justice.
Secretary General and Publicity Secretary of COCSG, Usman Mohammed and Akinjo Babatope, respectively, while calling for Yakubu’s immediate release decried prosecution of such cases in courts that do not have jurisdiction.
“Section 45 of the Federal High Court Act does not give the High Court in Kano the powers to hear the case to the extent the hearing is inconsequential. To avoid waste of time and other valuable resources, the case should be transferred to Abuja that has the jurisdiction, “ the group stated.
It asked that the fundamental human rights of all accused be respected pending the pronouncements of the courts.
“ We observe with dismay the negative publicity of this matter which has instigated the general public against him, stigmatized members of his family without opportunity for fair hearing in grave disrespect of his person, “ the group stated.”