The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu has reassured lawyers and judges that comments attributed to him in recent media reports regarding the conduct of judicial officials, was not intended at impugning their integrity.
According to him, his comments, and activities of the Commission, should not be interpreted to mean a blanket indictment of all lawyers and judges but, rather directed at a few bad eggs within the system. “There is no way one can make a blanket statement on the integrity of lawyers and judges. Nigeria is blessed with some of the best lawyers and judges on the African continent. My worry is that the bad ones amongst them are giving the good ones a bad name”, he said.
He emphasized that the Commission deeply appreciates the support of most conscientious, upright and patriotic members of the bar and bench (including defence counsels), leading to the Commission’s unbeaten prosecution and conviction record.
Magu stated further that, mindful of the fact that judges are constrained from publicly responding to criticism against them, the Commission only employs legal and administrative procedures, including investigation of errant judicial officers and laying complaints against them before the National Judicial Council (NJC). In the same vein, the Commission has charged to court and secured convictions against a number of lawyers.
The EFCC boss invited all patriotic members of the bar and the bench to join the renewed campaign against corruption and money laundering, while exposing the corrupt among them. “There is no blanket condemnation of lawyers and judges”, he reiterated, “But, the corrupt few will not be spared.”