Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raised concerns over corruption cases being lost due to technicalities in courts, warning that this could be a deterrent to fighting economic and financial crimes.
Bawa said this in Abuja on Monday during his opening remarks at a three-day capacity building workshop for judicial officers, corruption investigators, and prosecutors titled “Judicial dynamism: A Key Factor in the Fight Against Economic and Financial Crimes.”
According to him, corruption cases that are dismissed on technical reasons help corrupt elements gain confidence while also harming the judiciary’s image.
“As a commission, we do not expect every judicial decision to go our way, but there are instances whereby the EFCC and many Nigerians have been left at a loss about certain judicial decisions where defendants, who obviously stole our commonwealth and those who aided and abetted them, have been allowed to go home to enjoy the proceeds of their 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 noted.
Bawa also praised President Muhammadu Buhari for signing 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 into law.
He expressed hope that the new laws would serve as important legal tools in the anti-corruption fight.
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