13 July 2016
The EFCC is set to go after professionals, particularly those who should know the law, but persistently assist corrupt persons to escape justice.
Its Acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, made the declaration on Tuesday in Abuja at a workshop organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACC).
“We will not stop going after people who are involved in laundering money. It doesn’t matter who you are; the law is a respecter of nobody, especially those who commit crime.
“Whether you are EFCC, SAN or whatever, sooner or later, we will start going after people who buy properties with stolen funds as well as people who help others to escape justice,” he said.
Magu urged legal practitioners, in particular, to cooperate with the commission in its bid to rid Nigeria of corruption.
The anti-graft boss urged legal practitioners to always play by the rule and avoid being used by corrupt elements to pervert justice.
A statement signed by EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujare, quoted as also saying that the commission would be unable to stamp out corruption without the support of all stakeholders.
“We consider everybody a stakeholder as the EFCC does not have monopoly of knowledge to defeat all shades of graft.
“What is important is the interest of the nation which should be placed above any other interest,’’ he said.
He commended the bar for being good partners in the fight against graft, but decried the attitudes of some lawyers who compromised on their jobs for criminals to escape justice.
He added that lawyers had a greater stake in the war more than any other class of professionals.
The statement noted that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, urged members of the bar to examine themselves, with a view to developing workable ways to curb corruption.
It said that Justice Mohammed, who was represented by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, charged them to look inward as individuals in the system, and collectively as a body to improve the legal system.
“You have a role to play as an individual and it is when we all change our attitudes that we can see it reflect in the society.
“No doubt, the legal profession is crucial in the maintenance of high quality of justice delivery within the justice system and such success or failure of our fight against corruption will depend on our willingness to take the right ethical path,” Kekere-Ekun was quoted as saying.
The theme of the workshop was “Anti-Corruption, Ethics of the Legal Profession and Justice Sector”.