The new leader of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud SAN was on Friday sworn-in as the 28th president of the umbrella body of lawyers in the country.
His first call after being sworn in was to call for the reform of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He was sworn in by his predecessor, Mr. Austine Alegeh SAN in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital at the end of the 56th Annual General Conference of the NBA.
Mahmud in his inaugural speech advocated that the anti-graft body should limit its role to investigation, and that its mandate to prosecute should be handled by an independent highly resource prosecution agency.
According to him, “The critical institutions involved must be repositioned, re-equipped and re-tooled to confront the problem of corruption on a consistent and sustainable basis.
“As a start, we commend the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Institution for the work it is doing and for its modest achievements.
“However, going forward, the NBA must demand the reform of the institution itself. We need to define its mandate more narrowly and more clearly,” he said.
He continued, that , “In my view, its broad objective as an investigative and prose curial agency should be reviewed.
“I recommend strongly that the EFCC be limited to investigation,” he said.
Mahmud said the NBA anti-corruption committee would be mandated to develop clear recommendations toward enhancing the fight against corruption and improving the effectiveness of the agencies involved.
He also noted that the association would advocate urgent reforms that would reposition the judiciary and make it play crucial roles, adding, that a clean, efficient and knowledgeable judiciary, was a foundation for building orderly, peaceful and prosperous society.
“The NBA under my watch will fight judicial corruption. We shall make the legal profession unattractive for corrupt lawyers,” he said.
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