Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri has described as baseless criticisms over a purported advisory list to political parties saying that those behind the outcry are only out for mischief.
“ I have been vilified for something I do not know anything about. I woke up one morning to see people discussing on TV a list said to be written by EFCC . I am a lawyer of many years standing and I obey the rule of law. What is causing some people sleepless nights is simply a table of our prosecution activities which has been in the public domain for over two years”, Waziri said.
The anti_corruption agency boss made the clarification yesterday while receiving the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) President, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu, SAN at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja .
Waziri reiterated her call for every Nigerian, especially public oriented organizations to join the war against economic crimes and corruption saying NBA remains a crucial partner to EFCC in the war. She pointed out that the Commission’s work needs to be supported by all stakeholders as no amount of work by EFCC would be meaningfully appreciated if convictions are not achieved.
According to her, “ It is my view that we should all come to a point where the judiciary should declare speedy trial of all corruption cases if the accused persons are not ready to prove their innocence. This is where I believe your intervention will forever be appreciated by posterity. In other climes, it is the accused persons that approach the court to seek speedy trial of their cases because they want to prove their innocence but the reverse is the case here.
“As a lawyer, I don’t believe in any other means to fight the course of justice other than the law. That is why I have remained strictly committed to the rule of law in my over two years in office.”
In his remarks, the NBA president chided the bench for the delay being experienced in the trial of corruption cases stating that many judges who handle corruption cases were not adequately trained to do so. “ I will put the blame for the delay squarely on the doorstep of courts and not on lawyers nor EFCC. It behooves on the court to have timelines for criminal matters and be organized.”