The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stopped arbitrary seizure of international passports of suspects under investigation, in line with international practices.
It directed its entire staff to exercise discretion in demanding suspects’ passports.
It also directed its staff to ask for reasonable and practicable bail conditions from suspects and their sureties.
According to a statement by the head of media and publicity of EFCC, Dele Oyewale, no more blanket arrest and detention of suspects.
The statement said the anti-graft commission rolled out new conditions following the review of its guidelines on arrest, bail and processing of suspects.
The EFCC said its procedure will henceforth be in line with international best practices, the 1999 Constitution, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2011 and its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
The statement said: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has reviewed its guidelines on arrest, bail and processing of suspects.
“The review, which is premised on the need to adhere to the rule of law and international best practices in the treatment of suspects, was rolled out on Monday, October 31, 2023, across all its Commands.
“In the new guidelines, premium attention is focused on the rights of suspects, especially where arrest, detention and bail issues are concerned.
“Operational activities are to be tailored towards 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 EFCC asked all its operatives to stop the blanket seizure of International passports of suspects and the imposition of difficult bail conditions.
The statement added: “Specifically, operatives of the Commission are not allowed to demand for professional certificates of sureties as a bail condition.
“Also, every demand for international passports of suspects would henceforth be exercised with discretion, depending on the nature of the case, personality, and country of residence of the suspect.
“Director, Legal and Prosecution Department of the EFCC, Commander of the EFCC, CE Silvanus Tahir, SAN, cautioned that, “bail conditions served on suspects must be reasonable and practicable to be fulfilled by suspects and their sureties.
“Detention of suspects without a Remand Warrant for unreasonable length of time beyond the constitutionally allowed period must henceforth stop forthwith”.
“Officers of the commission are also warned against unwarranted violation of the rights of suspects.
“He called for professionalism in all operational activities, stressing that “it is time to have a paradigm shift and change the narrative. Henceforth, professionalism shall be the watchword. Let’s follow the best international standards worth our identity as a flagship law enforcement agency.”