The Nigerian Bar Association, Port Harcourt Branch, has expressed its desire to partner with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in its fight against corrupt practices.
This desire was expressed on Thursday, June 17, 2021 by the Chairman of the Association, Barrister Prince Nyekwere, while on a Courtesy Visit to the Port Harcourt Zonal Head of the EFCC, Assistant Commander of the EFCC, ACE Aliyu. Naibi. According to him, the EFCC ” is a very important institution in Nigeria, fighting economic and financial crimes and that the NBA should be seen as a partner in progress. “We are ready to partner with the EFCC. Let the Commission take us as partners in progress and realise that as NBA, we want it to succeed in its assigned mandate”, he said.
Nyekwere stressed that the works of the EFCC are central to the growth and development of the nation because ” for any country to develop, it is important that investors and citizens have confidence in the system and if we allow criminals and criminality, especially in the area of economic and financial crimes, then the country will not move forward”.
The NBA Chairman noted that the task of prosecution of financial criminals by the EFCC required painstaking efforts and commitments. He, however, stressed that rules and procedures should always be followed in the interest of justice for all. He admitted that there are some ” bad eggs and Judasses in the legal profession, but our responsibility is not to free criminals but to ensure that no one escapes justice and for those who did not commit any crime not to suffer”.
In his response, Naibi stated that EFCC was mindful of justice for every party involved in any matter because ” justice is one- either for the complainant; the accused; the law enforcement agencies; the society or the government. Justice is one and the interest is the overall good of the country and this is the interest the EFCC is working for”. He expressed satisfaction with the relationship of the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC with the NBA, stressing that ” the relationship is good and robust”.
On the issue of investigations and prosecution, Naibi scored the EFCC high, pointing out that “Our investigations are always watertight. We have about 97% success rate in our prosecution and this is a fact that is open to everyone”. He assured the NBA of an open door system and called for more result- oriented collaboration between the two organisations