Connect with us

News

EFCC is not a debt recovery agency – Bawa

Published

on

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, has cautioned members of the public not to drag the commission into business transactions gone awry.

Bawa gave the advice while speaking as one of the panelists at the Alao Aka- Bashorun Memorial Lecture on Thursday in Lagos, stressing that the commission was not a debt recovery agency.

The lecture is part of the activities to commemorate the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, Law Week 2021.

Bawa, represented by Mr Anselm Ozioko, the Head of the Legal Department of the EFCC, spoke on the topic; “Our Role in the Effective Implementation of Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption Law”.

He said that there was a general misconception by members of the public that the EFCC was a debt recovery agency and urged the public to stop asking the anti-graft agency to recover debts.

“I state with all sense of responsibility that members of the public, including legal practitioners in the course of carrying out recovery for their clients, should stop urging us (the commission) to do so.

“I must also state that in the course of investigating a financial crime, it is possible that a sum of money transferred from the account of a nominal complainant, may be recovered as an exhibit.

“In certain circumstances, the exhibits may be released to the complainant or the said exhibit will be used for the prosecution of the suspect in court.

“At the end of a successful prosecution, the court may grant a Restitutive Order for the nominal complainant, in which the exhibit will be released to nominal complainant pursuant to the court Order,” Bawa said.

He said that when the EFCC was approached by fraud victims, they typically expect the organisation to freeze bank accounts of suspects, make them forfeit their assets and release the assets to them (victims).

The chairman said when the EFCC followed due process and did not act in line with the expectations of the victims, they become disoriented.

Bawa said that despite best efforts of the EFCC, international online trading platforms like Paypal, have not restored Nigeria to its payment platform due to the nefarious activities of fraudsters.

Commenting on the roles of lawyers during interrogation, the chairman said that they were to observe and not interfere with interrogations by the EFCC and that they were not to stand as sureties for suspects in EFCC custody.

“The EFCC has in some situations prosecuted lawyers who deposited their Call to Bar Certificates to stand sureties for suspects because their client jumped bail.

“In some cases, we reported such legal practitioners to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee.

“It is not your responsibility as a lawyer to bail anyone, you recommend that someone is fit and proper to be a surety not you, as a lawyer,” he said.

Bawa said that in many instances, lawyers have made attempts to frustrate investigations by filing fundamental rights suits against the EFCC when their clients are served with invitation letters.

“As a lawyer, you cannot stop a law enforcement agency from carrying out its statutory duties,” he said.

Also speaking at the forum, Mr Layi Babatunde (SAN) queried why heads of government agencies should go to heads of courts to ensure that their matters are heard in a particular manner.

“Take for instance, the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), they do this all of the time. Imagine how it will appear if bank debtors do the same.

“This should not be taken lightly at all because no litigant has a right to go and discuss their case with the court, behind the other party’s back. That is corruption.

“The EFCC should look into it and we, as lawyers should not sit idle and allow it to happen. It is a form of intimidation.

“If we continue this way, foreign investors will not have faith in our judicial system,” Babatunde said.

Entertainment12 mins ago

BBNaija 2021: Netizens Troll Female Housemates As They Make Grand Entry Into The Big Brother House

Entertainment36 mins ago

BBNaija 2021: Meet The Female Housemate With 11 Tattoos

World42 mins ago

Democratic Republic of Congo: Muslims murder at least 16 people, including 6 women and 2 children, in road ambush

News44 mins ago

BBNaija Season 6: Meet Arin, the housemate with 24 piercings and an “Ashewo” personality

Lifestyle52 mins ago

Urethra Diseases in Men and Women and How to Identify Them

Entertainment1 hour ago

BBNaija 2021: Ebuka’s Super Dapper Look For Launch Day 2 Tonight (Photos)

World2 hours ago

Nigeria: Muslims block road, kidnap Christian travelers, let the Muslims go on their way

Lifestyle2 hours ago

5 Key Facts About Thermography

Entertainment2 hours ago

Actress Etinosa Idemudia Becomes A New House Owner in Lagos (Photos)

Metro2 hours ago

Lady Gives Bestie the Beating of her Life for Sleeping with her Man

News3 hours ago

Trial of alleged killer Of Akwa Ibom jobseeker, Iniubong Umoren, begins on Monday

Lifestyle3 hours ago

How The Pain Killers Can Be Pain Causers? And How To Get Rid Of Them?

Politics3 hours ago

White Jesus Fix It! Tiffany D. Cross Calls Out “50-Year-Old” Bully And Blackface Connoisseur Megyn Kelly Over Attacks On Naomi Osaka

Entertainment3 hours ago

BBNaija 2021: Obi Cubana Throws His Support Behind Anambra Housemate, Cross

World3 hours ago

Ben & Jerry’s Board chair supports jihad terror against Israel, has defended Hamas and Hizballah

News3 hours ago

There won’t be bickering over choice of my successor –Umahi

Entertainment3 hours ago

Watch BBNaija Season 6 Housemate, Boma On American TV Series, The Blacklist

News3 hours ago

Comedienne/actress, Etinosa, acquires a home in Lagos

News3 hours ago

IPOB: Security alert in Abuja as Nnamdi Kanu faces trial tomorrow

Lifestyle4 hours ago

The Benefits of Mercury Free Dental Fillings

News23 hours ago

Meet BBNaija housemate, Niyi’s beautiful Wife, Bella (Video/Photos)

News19 hours ago

“I’m a moving train, I’ll crush you” – Peruzzi reacts after being called out for walking out on fans (Video)

World5 hours ago

UK: Muslim reportedly stabs Christian speaker Hatun Tash at Speakers’ Corner

News17 hours ago

#BBNaija2021: Checkout impressive interior of the Big Brother house for this year’s edition (Photos)

News8 hours ago

“So many fine boys in Nigeria but Big Brother decided to select the M*nkeys” – Bleached Nigerian Male-Barbie, Bobrisky writes.

Entertainment21 hours ago

BBNaija Season 6: Photos Of “Happily Married” Niyi, With His Wife And Son

Entertainment23 hours ago

BBNaija Season 6: Who Is Niyi? All The Facts About BBNaija 2021 Housemate Niyi

News20 hours ago

BBNaija former housemate, Dorathy, reacts after seeing the “washing machine” in Biggies house this season

Entertainment24 hours ago

BBNaija Season 6: All You Need To Know About BBNaija 2021 Housemate JayPaul

Entertainment20 hours ago

BBNaija 2021: Who Is Sammie? All The Facts You Need To Know About BBNaija 2021 Housemate Sammie

News11 hours ago

BREAKING: Abducted students of Kaduna Baptist school regain freedom

News14 hours ago

Oyedepo reportedly pays graduate pastors N38,000 monthly

News15 hours ago

I was in debt before COVID-19 pandemic – Ubi Franklin

News4 hours ago

Family announces burial details of murdered Super TV CEO

News12 hours ago

#BBNaija 2021: Jaypaul reveals he was turned back day of 2020 premiere

News16 hours ago

Igboho: It’s better for us to kill him in Benin than return him to Nigeria

Lifestyle22 hours ago

Five Important Things To Know Before Going For A Hair Transplant

News11 hours ago

BREAKING: Abducted students of Kaduna Baptist school regains freedom

News13 hours ago

Delta housewife allegedly stabs husband to death

News16 hours ago

Uzodinma to Imolites: Expose me if I ever steal public funds

Trending