The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, on Tuesday took a swipe at lawyers and journalists in Nigeria, saying they connive with criminals to subvert the course of justice and frustrate war against corruption.
Delivering a speech at a rally organised by a coalition of civil society groups, in Abuja, Mr. Magu said lawyers receive part of the stolen public funds to fight the EFCC, sabotage and delay justice.
“One of the big challenges we have in the effective prosecution of the war on corruption, is that of very senior lawyers who Nigeria has been very kind to: They who went to good schools here, when Nigeria was good, many of them, on government scholarship; they who Nigeria has given so much opportunity.
“When we have corruption cases, cases of people who have stolen food from the mouths of our children; when we have cases of people who have stolen money meant to build hospitals and buy drugs; when we have cases of people who have stolen all the money meant to buy guns for our soldiers to fight Boko Haram, when we have all these cases of wicked people who have stolen Nigeria’s money, they run to these same senior lawyers, give them part of the stolen money and mobilise them to fight us, to delay us in court and to deny Nigerians of justice. These are the people who do not want justice for the common man.
“The other day, 34 Senior Advocates of Nigeria fought against only one small EFCC lawyer in court and he defeated all of them! What we are doing today is not by our power, it is the power of the Nigerian people and the power of God behind us!
“Corrupt people hire journalists to abuse us every day. They say we are not doing the work according to the law. But, that is not true.
“There is no agency that follows the law more than EFCC. None. Before we arrest you, or seize your property or do anything to you, we check the law, we go to court and get court order. That is why we are winning; that is why we are defeating them every day.
“We want the Nigerian people to continue to support us, continue to support Mr. President’s war on corruption.
“We have many corruption cases in court. We are getting them every day from everywhere and we are recovering stolen money and taking corrupt people to court.
“The money we have recovered and the money we are going to get back from them – billions and billions of naira – is being paid back to government and will be used to do what it was originally meant for – to build hospitals, send our children to school, build roads and railways, create employment and defend our country.
“We have no other country than Nigeria. This war is the war of the people.
“Apart from the fear of God, we have no other fear. Apart from the interest of Nigeria, we have no other interest.
“And apart from the Rule of Law, we have no other rule guiding the work we are doing today. The days of impunity are over.
“Victory is certain for the common man! Aluta continua!” he added.