We’ll soon go after people who use stolen fund to buy properties —Magu

THE acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on Tuesday, vowed that the anti-corruption commission would soon go after money launderers and those who help those who buy properties with stolen money.

This is even as he called on legal practitioners in the country to join hands with EFCC in its bid to free Nigeria of corruption.

Speaking at the opening of a one-day workshop organised by the the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACC) at the Rockview Hotel, Abuja, with the theme: “Anti-Corruption, Ethics of the Legal Profession and Justice Sector”, Magu declared that the commission under his leadership was committed to fighting money laundering.

According to him, the law was no respecter of nobody, stating that in view of that EFCC would not stop going after people who were involved in money, no matter who they were.

“We will not stop going after people who are involved in laundering money. It doesn’t matter who you are, the law is a respecter of nobody especially those who commit crime.

“Whether you are EFCC, SAN or whatever, sooner or later we will start going after people who buy properties with stolen funds as well as people who help others to escape justice,” Magu declared.

While commending the bar for being good partners in the fight against graft in the country, Magu, however, decried the attitudes of some lawyers who compromised on their jobs for criminals to escape justice.

The anti-corruption czar further submitted that lawyers had a greater stake in the war against corruption being waged more than any other class of professional in the country.

According to him, the EFCC could not stamp out corruption in Nigeria without the support of all stakeholders, adding that the commission did not have monopoly of knowledge.

He called on legal practitioners to place national interest above any other interest and play by the rule and avoid used by corrupt elements in the society to pervert justice.

“We consider everybody a stakeholder, as the EFCC does not have monopoly of knowledge to defeat all shades of graft,” he said.

In his keynote address, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who was represented on the occasion by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, urged members of the bar to examine themselves with a view to developing workable ways to curb corruption.

The CJN charged members of the bar to look inward as individuals in the system and collectively as a body to improve the legal system.

He noted that the legal profession was crucial in the maintenance of high quality of Justice delivery.

“You have a role to play as an individual and it is when we all change our attitude that we can see it reflected in the society. No doubt, the legal profession is crucial in the maintenance of a high quality of justice delivery within the justice system and such success or failure of our fight against corruption will depend on our willingness to take the right ethical path,” the CJN stated.