Home » EFCC Overhauls Arrest and Bail Procedures for Enhanced Rights Protection

EFCC Overhauls Arrest and Bail Procedures for Enhanced Rights Protection

Legal News

by Victor Adetimilehin

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has undertaken a comprehensive review of its arrest, bail, and suspect processing procedures, aiming to align with the principles of the rule of law and international best practices. This revision, implemented on October 31, 2023, across all EFCC commands, places paramount importance on safeguarding the rights of suspects, particularly in matters related to arrest, detention, and bail.


The newly updated guidelines demand that operational activities strictly adhere to the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2011, and the EFCC’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). The primary focus is on protecting and upholding the rights of suspects throughout the legal process.


One of the most notable changes introduced by the EFCC’s revised procedures is the prohibition of demanding professional certificates from sureties as a condition for bail. This adjustment recognizes the practical challenges that suspects and their sureties may face when asked to provide such certificates. This shift in policy ensures that bail conditions are reasonable and attainable, promoting a fairer and more just system.


Moreover, the new guidelines emphasize a more discerning approach to the request for the international passport of suspects. The decision to request a passport is now made on a case-by-case basis, considering factors such as the nature of the case, the individual’s background, and their country of residence. This discretion will help prevent unnecessary hardships for suspects who may need their passports for legitimate reasons, such as travel for work or family matters.


Dele Oyewale, the EFCC Spokesperson, revealed this significant development in Abuja. He quoted Commander CE Sylvanus Tahir, SAN, the Director of the Legal and Prosecution Department of the commission, who stressed the importance of reasonable and practical bail conditions. The director emphasized that bail conditions should not be unduly burdensome and should be structured to ensure that suspects and their sureties can fulfill them without undue hardship.


Additionally, the revised guidelines explicitly address the issue of prolonged detention without a Remand Warrant. Such practices are now deemed unacceptable and in violation of the constitutionally allowed detention periods. This change seeks to ensure that suspects are not held in custody beyond the legally permissible time frame.


In a broader context, EFCC officers are urged to act with the utmost professionalism in all operational activities. The new guidelines promote a paradigm shift in the agency’s approach, emphasizing international standards and the need to safeguard the rights of suspects. By adhering to these principles, the EFCC aims to uphold its identity as a flagship law enforcement agency that operates with integrity and fairness.


The EFCC’s efforts to revise its procedures reflect a commitment to upholding human rights and the principles of justice. As the commission adopts these changes and implements them rigorously, it paves the way for a more equitable and just legal system in Nigeria, aligning with global standards.


Source: [The Guardian]

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