The Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association in Makurdi, Barrister Justin Gbagir, has accused security operatives in the Makurdi Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of beating him.
According to Justin who spoke to newsmen on Wednesday, at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), where he is currently being treated, the ugly incident happened on Tuesday night when he went to the office of the anti-graft agency after receiving a telephone call that one of his female colleagues, Barrister Aver Shima, was being held by the EFCC.
Narrating the incident, he said, “On Tuesday, at about 6:59 pm, Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa Esq, called to inform me that our colleague who is also the Branch Treasurer was detained by the EFCC.”
“On further inquiry, I found that our colleague was detained on the allegation that she gave legal advice to the Chairman of Benue State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) upon which the latter signed a document which is subject of an investigation by EFCC.”
“Our said colleague is a law officer with Benue State Ministry of Justice and assigned to offer official legal services to SUBEB. She also Chairs one of the Rent Tribunal Panels.”
“As soon as i was informed, i rushed to the EFCC office, with some of my colleagues but we were not allowed to enter until the arrival of the State Attorney General, Michael Gusa and Solicitor General.”
“As we entered (the office of the EFCC zonal office), the Solicitor General introduced me to the EFCC Head that I am the Chairman, NBA Makurdi Branch and offered his seat to me. And as I made to sit down, the EFCC Head, (Oseni Kassim) said I cannot sit down because I am an agitator.”
“I then asked whether I was brought in as an accused? When he did not answer me, I told the AG that with due respect, I cannot be made to be standing talking to the EFCC Head of office, and sought the leave of the AG to leave.”
“As I made to leave, the personnel of EFCC numbering between 7 and above pounced on me and started beating me. They broke my recommended reading eyeglasses in the process and pushed me out of the premises, “he added.
He further added, “I then decided to come to BSUTH where I was admitted and receiving treatment. I slept off after the hospital administered several injections to relieve the pains and woke up in the early hours of today (Tuesday).
“I am still having serious bodily pains around my neck, left eye, waist and on my right and left hand, ” he narrated.
Meanwhile, the EFCC in Makurdi has reacted to the claims by Justine. According to the anti-graft agency, its personnel did not lay hands on anybody.