Mr Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has called on members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to join hands with the Commission in the fight against corruption.
This is contained in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Wilson Uwujaren ,EFCC’s Head, Media and Publicity.
It said that Magu made the call when the national executive of the NBA paid him a courtesy visit.
Magu said that some members of the association had given it a bad name as a result of their unprofessional conducts.
He said that some lawyers were aiding some individuals and corporate bodies to perpetrate economic and financial crimes.
“Society is not served when prominent members of the Bar not only take clearly tainted briefs, but even facilitate the commission of crimes by knowingly supplying the technical know-how and later helping in the dispersal of the proceeds of crime.
There are lawyers within the fold of the NBA who ought not to be among your noble ranks. Those people are not fit to be called barristers; rather, they are vandals of the temple of justice’’, the statement said.
He, however, said that to effectively fight the war against corruption, the input of lawyers was needed.
“Law enforcement, just as the judiciary, encompassing the Bar and the Bench, is a critical link in the justice delivery system of any society. I dare say that even when opinions and tactics differ, the interest of the two blocs cannot but converge on the overriding interest of the people.’’
According to the statement, he noted that no other anti-graft agency had beaten the record of the EFCC in the areas of prosecutions and convictions.
Describing ordinary Nigerians as the victims of fraud, diversion of funds and embezzlement, he urged the Bar to share in the vision of the present administration to eradicate corruption.
According to the statement, the NBA President, Mr Augustin Alegeh (SAN), stressed the need for EFCC and the NBA to synergise in the fight against corruption.
Alegeh said that the Bar’s anti-corruption Commission had developed a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) template for lawyers to address the issue of members accepting questionable briefs.