Those who buy properties acquired with proceeds from stolen funds may not be spared in the anti-corruption war as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vowed to go after them.
The commission has also spoken of plans to go after people who help criminals to escape justice.Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, who spoke yesterday at the opening of a one-day workshop organized by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption in Abuja, 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 a statement, the Head, Media and Publicity at the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, quoted Magu as calling on legal practitioners to join hands with the EFCC in its bid to free Nigeria of corruption.
Magu said the EFCC could not stamp out corruption in the country without the support of all stakeholders. “We consider everybody a stakeholder.”
He urged legal practitioners to always play by the rule and avoid being used by corrupt elements to pervert justice, adding that the interest of the nation should be placed above any other interest.
The EFCC boss commended members of the Bar for being good partners in the fight against graft, but decried the attitude of some lawyers whom he accused of compromising on their jobs for criminals to escape justice.
According to him, lawyers have 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,” Magu warned.
In his keynote address, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, urged members of the Bar to examine themselves with a view to developing workable ways to curb corruption.
“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 charged.