The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC has debunked any form of rift between its chairman, Ibrahim Magu and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN.
The commission in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren said that notwithstanding the fact that EFCC has been consistent in its position that there is absolutely no conflict (actual or impending) with the AGF, some unscrupulous persons have continued to push the false narrative into media headlines.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, the (EFCC) wishes to categorically state that it is compliant with all provisions of law and has no intention to stoke a misunderstanding over requests from the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
“Furthermore, the Commission’s mandate, operational philosophy and the conduct and pronouncements of its officials do not countenance any activity on the fringes of the law. It is therefore untenable for there to be any suggestion that the EFCC or the Commission’s principal officials are either in conflict with or readying for a showdown with the AGF or other officials of government.
“Any such conflicts being paraded in the media exist only in the apparently fertile imaginations of corrupt elements angling to knock heads together in furtherance of their own pro-corruption agenda. All the brouhaha raised in recent days over a non-existent conflict between the EFCC and the office of the AGF only go to underline the fact that corruption can and is fighting back in a variety of ways.
“The Commission wishes to underscore that the EFCC is a creation of statute and is operations and officials being as they are, guided by the firm, unambiguous provisions of those laws and regulations, are not and can never be in contravention of the law or opposition to constituted authority”, Uwujaren pointed out.
It will be recalled that the media waves had been awashed recently over a letter purportedly sent from the office of the AGF to the EFCC chairman, requesting for the case file to some major high profile cases, in compliance with Section 10(1) of the EFCC (enforcement) regulations 2010.
The regulation mandates the EFCC to report investigations and recommendations in any case that has significant international dimension involving money or assets of a value exceeding N50million or requires specialized knowledge of financial, commercial, fiscal or regulatory matters such as the operations of the markets, banking systems, trusts or tax regimes, after which the office of the AGF decides if there are sufficient grounds to initiate prosecution.
The Special assistant to the President on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla had reportedly alleged that the EFCC boss and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta who was recently transferred as a commissioner at the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, were not cooperating with the AGF in the prosecution of some of these cases, as they failed to obey the Minister’s directive.
However, Mike Ozekhome SAN in a statement tagged ; “EFCC vs AGF FACE OFF : When the tail wags the Dog”, the learned silk berated the EFCC for acting, behaving and living above the laws of the land contrary to its motto.
According to him ; “I am not surprised that the EFCC has scornfully and disdainfully refused to forward to the Attorney General of the Federation the outcome of investigations of high profile Corruption cases with the recommendations thereon.
“The EFCC has since become an island on to itself, no doubt, a country within a country, like the Papacy, which is recognized by the UNO, is a Nation within Italy, another nation.
“It has since behaved, acted and lived above the laws of the land, contrary to its motto, ‘No one is above the Law’.
“Like witches and wizards whose activities are shrouded in eerie secrecy in covens, the EFCC has carried on without accounting and answering to anyone.
Ozekhome alluded that to continue to defy the AGF, the EFCC must first amend the 1999 Constitution to enable it usurp and appropriate the powers of the AGF clearly spelt out in in section 174 of the 1999 Constitution.