NBA Demands Apology From EFCC

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), is demanding an apology from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the withdrawal of a statement it has described as unacceptable.

A statement from the General Secretary of the NBA, Isiaka Abiola Olagunju, on August 29th 2016, said The NBA condemns in the strongest terms the use of abusive and uncivil language of ‘rogues and vultures’ by a public authority.

He added that: “It is unacceptable. The NBA demands unequivocal withdrawal of this statement and an unreserved apology from the EFCC.”

Olagunju explained that NBA president during his inaugural address in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday 26th August, 2016, commended the achievements of the EFCC but called for the reform of the Agency to enhance its capabilities to deliver on its mandate on a ‘consistent and sustainable’ basis devoid of political interference.

He said the call for reform was made on the basis of well-established institutional safeguards that demand the proper regulation of the wide discretionary powers involved in the investigation and prosecution of criminal matters.

He pointed out that combining investigative powers with prosecutorial powers in one single agency, (called the Roskill Model in England), is the exception rather than the norm.

Olagunju noted that: “In the UK only the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) enjoys such combined powers. But given the institutional safeguards, both within the SFO and the maturity that characterizes the UK Criminal Justice Institutions, the abuse of such powers will be highly unlikely.”

He added that the NBA Constitution demands that it promotes law reform and legal development. It, therefore, commits itself to promoting healthy public debate about our institutions and interrogating their capabilities and performance, including all criminal justice agencies such as the EFCC.

He said the NBA President Mr. Mahmoud, SAN has over the years supported the work of the EFCC in many ways and acted as counsel in a number of matters on behalf of the organization.

However, the EFCC in a statement by its spokesman Wilson Uwujaren also on 29th August 2016 said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission Did Not say the whole of the NBA is populated by rogues and vultures.”

Read More: dailytrust

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