EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde
The Prelate and Moderator of the General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Emele Mba Uka, has condemned the handling of corruption cases in Nigeria by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He described the Commission’s war against corruption as a farce and a disgrace to the nation.
The Prelate referred to a number of high profile cases instituted by EFCC which have been struck out in the recent past by High Court Judges either for lack of diligent prosecution on the part of EFCC’s lawyers or for lack of substance.
He listed such high profile cases as those of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole; former Ogun State Governor, Chief Gbenga Daniel; Member of House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, and the latest case involving the former Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Dr. Erastus Akingbola, all of which have been struck out by the court respectively.
“Even the charges brought against James Ibori by the EFCC were struck out by the Nigerian Court. And today the same man is jailed for 13 years by a UK Court. What an indictment on the Nigerian Judiciary.”
The Prelate noted in particular, the statement credited to Justice Charles Archibong in striking out the case involving Akingbola to the effect that the prosecution team hired by EFCC were “a bunch of incompetent lawyers who are a drain on public fund.”
“It becomes even more worrisome,” the Prelate added, “to note that the team of five prosecuting lawyers were Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) who were paid by public money from the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
Uka said that if Nigeria must be taken seriously in the war against corruption, EFCC and other anti-fraud agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Police Force as well as the judiciary must sit up