Falana urges NASS to grant total autonomy to anti-corruption agencies

Femi Falana

The lawyer thinks that the independence of anti-corruption agencies will help fight corruption in the country.

 

 

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, on Monday called on the National Assembly to urgently enact a legislation granting total autonomy to anti-corruption agencies in the country.

Mr. Falana made the call in Lagos while speaking at a media-round table on “Promoting Ethics and Integrity within the Courts System – The Role of Lawyers”.

The forum was organised by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, in collaboration with The Royal Netherlands Embassy, Abuja.

At the forum, Mr. Falana said the independence of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, would help in tackling corruption in Nigeria.

“The national assembly should urgently enact a law to make the anti-corruption agencies totally autonomous,” Mr. Falana said.

“They should not be subjected to reporting to the executive because this exposes their activities to interference,” he argued.

He decried the slow pace of prosecution of high profile corruption cases in Nigerian courts, saying it had made a mockery of the justice system.

Mr. Falana accused lawyers, especially those in the inner bar, of manipulating the criminal justice system to protect their high profile clients from conviction.

“All those cases that have brought the judiciary to shame were handled by Senior Advocates of Nigeria, the supposed leaders of the legal profession,” he said. “Legal practitioners must rise up to challenge their actions because they are ruining the legal system. They are exposing Nigeria to ridicule.”

He said the country would never move forward if those accused of corruption are not brought to justice and held accountable for their actions.

In his address, Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director, SERAP, noted that the round-table was convened to x-ray the roles of lawyers in curbing corruption within the court’s system.

Mr. Mumuni said the forum was aimed at reducing corruption in the country and create an easy access to justice for the generality of Nigerians


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