The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has expressed optimism that the court judgement barring it from from investigating and prosecuting past and present officials of the Rivers Government accused of corruption delivered about 13 years ago may finally be vacated by the Supreme Court.
The Acting Executive Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, who expressed the optimism, while fielding questions from a cross-section of journalists at EFCC Zonal Office Port Harcourt, said taking a cue from similar subsisting judgements from various courts and the Supreme Court, the 13 years old case may have been overtaken by event and may be quashed.
“We are very optimistic about the Supreme Court vacating such encumbrances because in our view, such cases do no longer hold water as various court judgements have affirmed categorically that no Court can stop EFCC and other security agencies from investigating anybody accused of corruption not even Judges. We believe that the issues no longer hold water and overtaken by events,” Magu said.
Magu assured Rivers people and Nigerians that immediately the legal bottlenecks are cleared by the apex court, most of corruption cases involving past and present officials of Rivers State Government would be investigated and those found culpable would be prosecuted.
The EFCC boss said that next to Lagos State, Rivers State tops the in corruption index in money laundering and illegal oil bunkering among the cases under the radar of the anti-graft agency.
Giving an overview of performances of the Agency, Magu stated the in 2019, 1,245 convictions were successfully secured that included three former Governors.
He said the convictions are unparalleled since the Agency was established.
Magu had earlier visited the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt to to inspect the 244 trucks and their stolen petroleum products contents impounded by the military and other security agencies in Rivers State.
He explained that the recently auctioned trucks and their products passed the due processes of Court order with all the relevant stakeholders in the know before they were auctioned by the Federal Government.
Magu, however, pointed out the auctioned trucks will not be handed over to the successful bidders until the Ministry of Finance confirm receiving payment alerts in approved account.
He appealed Whistle-blowers not to relent in exposing corruption because the Agency has the mechanism for witnesses’ and Whistle-blowers protection.