Home News EFCC duplicates police Special Fraud Unit functions, says Agbakoba

EFCC duplicates police Special Fraud Unit functions, says Agbakoba

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Olisa Agbakoba has said that the functions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be carried out by the police Special Fraud Unit (SFU).

In recent time, EFCC and Agbakoba have been at loggerheads over an alleged fraud case linked to Ali Bello, identified as a nephew of Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

On 15th December 15, the EFCC arraigned Ali Bello and one Dauda Suleiman on a 10-count charge bordering on alleged misappropriation and money laundering.

The anti-graft agency alleged that the duo, alongside one Abdulsalami Hudu, a cashier at the Kogi Government State House who is now at large, withdrew N10.2 billion from the state’s treasury for personal use.

At a media briefing on Thursday, Agbakoba said that the EFCC has no constitutional right to probe how a state spends its money, adding that only the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and state assemblies have the responsibility to probe state expenditure.

But EFCC said that Agbakoba was casting aspersion on the commission’s commitment to tackling corruption.

The SAN said that the anti-graft agency is performing the same duties as the police SFU.

He said that since the EFCC is an agency of the Federal Government, it does not have the power to prosecute offences under the purview of state governments.

“So, the question would be, if the EFCC is created by the Federal Government can it then prosecute state offences”? he asked, adding: “The Supreme Court, in many of its decisions, has held that federalism means two autonomous and independent governments, and if that is correct, the EFCC does not have the right to go to the state and examine their accounts.

“Anybody can read Section 46 of the EFCC Act and Section 36(12) of the 1999 Constitution. Section 36(12) states that all offences must be defined and when you now read Section 46, you ask yourself if it complies with Section 36(12) because it does not.

“So, part of the prayers I would seek in court is that EFCC ought not to exist in the first place because it is not a branch of the police and that the job done by the EFCC is the same one being done by the Police Special Fraud Unit.

“My other prayer would be whether the national assembly can make laws for the federation and to what extent can the national assembly, which is an arm of the federal government, make laws authorising a federal agency to exercise powers as if it were a state agency.

“So, all these contradictions should make the presidential candidates tell Nigerians what they are going to do about the constitution because it is defective”.

Agbakoba said that he has nothing personal against the anti-graft agency and that he is ready to engage EFCC Executive Chairman. Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa “on the issue”.


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