Lawyers' Delay Tactics Frustrating Anti-corruption War – EFCC
Anti-corruption war is ongoing, but prosecution of persons indicted is slow, something the anti-graft agency is not happy about.
An individual indicted could spend over 1 year facing trial and sometimes they get acquitted after months of back and forth movements.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) believes that its efforts are being delayed by Nigeria’s slow judicial system and delay tactics by defence lawyers.
War against corruption is one thing the current administration of Muhammadu Buhari had preached during campaigns that brought them to office, but there is a legal system, needing drastic reforms that it had to face.
The Deputy Head of the EFCC's Ibadan Zonal Office, Mr Kazeem Oseni, expressed concerns over the worrisome legal proceedings' delay at the 13th Biennial conference of Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates’ Association (UNIFEMGA), Ibadan Chapter.
He presented a paper entitled “ Corruption in
Nigeria: An overview and the Effort of the EFCC in Fighting the
Scourge’’ and expressed the agency's commitment to the anti-graft war.
“The EFCC is committed to the anti-corruption war. We have made some progress but the operating environment has not been very encouraging.
“Issues bordering on legal technicalities, lack of cooperation from States and local governments and public attitude towards corruption keep undermining our efforts to tame the menace,” he said.
The commission is responding to the challenges by enhancing the capacities of its operators and exposing them to the requisite skills required for efficiency.
But, Oseni says the EFCC wants "to ensure that every investigation is properly carried out.
"We want to make sure that there are no escape routes for those found to
be evidently corrupt.”
The official called for massive support for the commission, pointing out that the EFCC could only work with information offered by the public.
“We all have roles to play, either as individuals or corporate entities. It is when we change our attitude and support the fight that it can succeed,” he said.
A solution to the challenges facing the anti-corruption war was proffered by Professor Abdul-Afis Oladosu, a lecturer at the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, who also gave a speech at the event.
He suggested that only spiritual and morally sound persons be trusted with positions of authority.
“If we are to succeed in the fight against corruption, positions of authority should be restricted to people of sound moral standing. Unless we do that, it will be difficult to uproot corruption from its roots,” he said.
Oladosu’s views were contained in a paper entitled: “Combating Corruption: Role of Religious Leaders’’.
The lecturer said that appointing people of questionable character was a risky venture and threat to the nation’s socio-economic and political growth.
He urged religious leaders to tighten their control of politicians, and warned them against compromising moral standards for earthy rewards.