Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Magu: We’ll start going after lawyers who help ‘looters’ escape justice

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says the anti-graft agency will soon go after senior lawyers who aid and abet financial and economic crimes. 
He said this at the opening of a one-day workshop organised by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACC) at the Rockview hotel in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman, Magu said at the workshop that the EFCC could not stamp out corruption in the country 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,” he said.
The anti-graft czar urged legal practitioners to always play by the rule and avoid being used by corrupt elements to pervert justice, adding that “what is important is the interest of the nation which should be placed above any other interest”.
Magu, who commended the bar for being good partners in the fight against graft, however decried the attitudes of some lawyers who compromise on their jobs for criminals to escape justice.  He added that lawyers have a greater stake in the war more than any other class of professional.
In reiterating his commitment towards fighting money laundering, the EFCC boss warned that, “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,” he said.
“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.”
In his keynote address, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Mahmud Mohammed urged members of the bar to examine themselves with a view to develop workable ways to curb corruption.
Mohammed, who spoke through 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 attitude that we can see it reflected in the society. No doubt, the legal profession is crucial in the maintenance of a 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,” the CJN said.

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