EFCC Chairman Flays Lawyers, Blames Them for Aiding Criminals

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The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, wednesday blamed the judiciary of working against efforts to tackle corruption in Nigeria.

He made this disclosure yesterday at the dialogue between the agency and key Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in lagos.

This was just as the Mr. Iliyasu Kwarbai, the commission’s Deputy Director of Operations, said the agency had been able to recover N5million dollars of loots stolen by either government officials and individuals.

The meeting, which was held and presided by the EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, was a move by the CSOs to reiterate their stance against corruption.

Magu said while the fight as against corruption intensifies, he has had cause to call out lawyers who are clogs in the wheel of prosecuting the corrupt.

In his speech, Magu said: “What is urgent now is to focus our attention on those areas which I consider as constituting stumbling blocks to successful prosecution of the war.

“While many lawyers have assisted the cause of the EFCC, there are a number of others that are working against efforts to tackle the Nigerian corruption problem.

“Many including very senior lawyers have continued to lend their skills and expertise to crooks to steal our money and thereafter, help them to launder same. It’s time for us to say enough is enough.”

He also said: “Since I assumed office three months ago, I have used every opportunity available to me to send the message that this fight is not for the EFCC alone.

“Other stakeholders must play crucial roles because the forces that we are trying to defeat are formidable and would spare no expense to ensure that we fail.

“In my estimation, one of the most important stakeholders in this crusade are the civil society organisations, because you are the conscience of
the people.

“We must be bothered that our nation has been raped by politicians who treat the treasury as their personal accounts.

“A nation where monies meant for the prosecution of the war against insurgency are shared by top military officers and their civilian accomplices.

“A country where roads, hospitals and other infrastructure are in appealing state of decay because the money that should have been used to improve them have been diverted into private pockets, is not the nation of our dreams.

“We have reached a state where we have to ask the crucial question, can we continue like this? No. Thankfully, we gave elected a government that is sold on the fight against corruption.

“By the same token, these times call got vigilance by all in following cases of corruption under prosecution to ensure that we put everyone on their toes.

“This would ensure not only the speedy determination of such matters, but that there is fairness and equity in the process and outcomes.”

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