September 30, 2022

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has expressed concerns about corruption cases being lost to technicalities in courts, stressing that such a development may serve as a disincentive to the fight against economic and financial crimes.

Bawa stated this on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Abuja while giving his opening remark at the three-day capacity building workshop of the EFCC, themed ‘Judicial Dynamism: A Key Factor in the Fight Against Economic and Financial Crimes,’ organised for judicial officers, corruption investigators and prosecutors.

According to him, corruption cases being lost on technical grounds have a way of building confidence in corrupt elements and also negatively affect the image of the judiciary.

He said, “As a commission, we do not expect every judicial decision to go our way, but there are instances where the EFCC and many Nigerians have been left at a loss about certain judicial decisions, where defendants who obviously have stolen our commonwealth and those who have aided and abetted them have been allowed to go home to enjoy their proceeds of crime on technical grounds.

“This has the tendency to negatively affect the cherished image of and confidence in the Nigerian judiciary both locally and internationally.

“In the Commission, we hold the view that corruption is a plague that does not select its victims.

“Those stealing and abusing our common patrimony do not wish us well. Judges are as much victims of corruption as the ordinary man on the streets.

“It is therefore in our collective interest that the gains of the fight against corruption are not reversed. This is also why we must aggregate fresh opinions and forge deliberate winning tactics and strategies to stem its ugly tide.”

Bawa also commended the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtrd) for signing into law the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022, the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 and the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management, Act, 2022, while expressing optimism that the new laws would serve as significant legal instruments that would further strengthen and deepen the anti-corruption war.

He said, “On the issue of corruption cases being lost on technical ground, President Muhammadu Buhari said that it is an issue generating concern among Nigerians.

The event also had the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban- Mensem, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; the Chief Judge of the Federation, Tanko Muhammad; and other top government officials in attendance.

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