Kogi probe: Agbakoba to head to Supreme Court on ‘exact scope of EFCC powers
Chief Olisa Agbakoba, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says he will seek an interpretation on the exact scope of powers of the EFCC, especially in relation to states of the Federation from the Supreme Court.
Agbakoba, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), made this known in a statement he titled, “The Scope of Powers of EFCC Will Be Tested By The Courts” issued in Lokoja on Tuesday
The SAN described the continues beaming of search light on Kogi as nothing less than “deliberate breakage” of the rule of law guiding it’s operations as an anti-graft agency.
“I am indeed heading to the apex count to seek for a declaration on the exact scope of powers of the commission, especially in relation to states of the Federation.
“EFCC must not, in its fight against corruption, undermine the rule of law.
“The very recent decision of the supreme court in a case of Dr. Joseph Nwobike SAN v The Federal Republic of Nigeria in suit number FRN SC/CR/161/2020, the Apex Court drastically limited the scope of powers of the EFCC, as it recognised that the EFCC being very powerful could not be allowed to run amok.
“I am so concerned that the EFCC often exceeds its powers in the investigation and prosecution of alleged offenders of our criminal laws.
“The EFCC had issued a response stating that I was wrong to take the views that it sometimes acts outside the scope of its powers vested by the EFCC Act.
“I am not in any way against the EFCC on the fight against corruption just as the Commission has admitted that I have always supported the fight against corruption.
“My concern is that the EFCC, in its undoubted statutory powers to stamp out corruption in Nigeria, it must strictly conform to the prescriptions of the law.
“But since the EFCC has in its fight against corruption undermines the rule of law, so, to the courts I go for a redress.” Agbakoba threatened.
According to him, how a state spends its money should not be the business of the anti-graft agency.
NAN reports that the EFCC in its response through its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said that Agbakoba was wrong in his accusations against the commission.
Uwujaren argued that the anti-graft agency has not done anything outside its constitutional mandate at checkmating money laundering in Kogi and other states across the country and was not afraid of his (Agbakoba ‘s) threat.
The fight, however, began last Thursday, when EFCC arrested and arraigned the nephew of Gov Yahaya Bello before a Federal High Court in Abuja over alleged money laundering offences.