ABUJA JULY 13, 2016 – The Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu has urged legal practitioners to cooperate with the commission in its bid to rid Nigeria of corruption.A statement signed by EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujare, said that Magu made the call on Tuesday at a workshop organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACC) in Abuja.
The EFCC chairman said that the commission would be unable to 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.”
The anti-graft boss urged legal practitioners to always play by the rule and avoid being used by corrupt elements to pervert justice.
“What is important is the interest of the nation which should be placed above any other interest.”
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.
“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.”
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 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 chief justice was quoted as saying.
According to the statement, the theme of the workshop was “Anti-Corruption, Ethics of the Legal Profession and Justice Sector”.