Juliana Francis


More than 47 Civil Society
Organisations in Nigeria have called for a prompt, impartial, and exhaustive investigation
into the attack on the Lagos home of the Executive Director, Human and
Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Olarenwaju Suraju. 


According to the group, it received with utter shock
and serious concern, news of the dastardly and condemnable attack on the Lagos
home of Mr. Olanrenwaju Suraju, Executive Director, Human and Environmental
Development Agenda (HEDA).

This attack was said to have occurred in the early
hours of 28th  March 28, 2022,
by armed men who broke into his residence, tied him and his wife up, and
subjected them to brutal and humiliating treatment in the presence of their

Our reporter gathered


The group further stated: “We are informed that about
five armed men broke into Suraju’s home on the said day and subjected him and
his wife to verbal threats and severe beatings. The attackers also took away valuables
such as phones, laptops, and a car. This attack and the dispossession of the
Surajus of sensitive personal items have left the family traumatised and
exposed them to further risks of the likelihood of invasion and illegal access
to their private data including bank information.” 


The group argued that it was apparent that the attack
was targeted and political as, out of the estate’s over 200 houses, only
Suraju’s house was broken. “They also made comments that gave them away as
agents acting on behalf and at the behest of a politically exposed person or
persons who had occupied public offices in Nigeria whom Suraju’s and HEDA’s
anti-corruption campaigns have affected unfavorably or not gone down well with,”
alleged the group.


It also stated: “We also note that this attack is
coming on the heels of the ongoing apparently malicious prosecution and harassment
of Mr. Suraju for opening the can of worms on the Malabu deal, which named
former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, as a beneficiary. This
attack highlights the level of threats that anti-corruption activists face, as
well as the extent to which desperate public officials accused of corruption
and being called to account could go to silence those who muster the courage to
demand accountability in the use of public resources. The invasion of his and attack
on his family members, hint at great danger to the safety of law-abiding and
patriotic citizens who engage in legitimate campaigns for integrity and
accountability in the management of public resources.” 



The group mentioned that if this grievous crime was
not investigated and the perpetrators fished out and brought to account, the
anti-corruption mantra of the Buhari-led government would end up as sheer
hypocrisy, and individuals and organisations genuinely committed to assisting
the government’s touted commitment to fight corruption would be discouraged and
corruption would finally kill the country. 

The group said: “We call on the Inspector General of
Police to order a prompt, impartial, and exhaustive investigation with a view
to identifying the criminal invaders and bringing them to account. We call for
adequate compensation to the Surajus for the violation of their rights to
privacy, human dignity, and to own property, among others. We also call on the
IGP to guarantee the physical safety and psychological integrity of members of
the Suraju family as well as members of staff of HEDA.” 

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