Human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) has said the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) was desperately looking for ways to cut down the powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Falana said the association has been frustrating the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
He said this in a write-up titled, ‘The Fight Against Anti-Corruption Agencies by the NBA’ where he reacted to calls by the NBA to reduce the prosecutorial powers of the EFCC.
He pointed out that the NBA frustrated the the case of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against convicted ex-Delta Governor, James Ibori.
He said previous leadership of the association have been trying to weaken the anti-graft agencies.
He said, “The NBA leadership accused the EFCC of acting ultra vires by usurping the powers of the Attorney General in collaborating with the Metropolitan Police in the investigation of Chief James Ibori, ex-governor of Delta State.
“When Chief Ibori was eventually charged with money laundering by the EFCC at the Federal High court, Awokulehin J. (as he then was) upheld the preliminary objections of the defence team led by Messrs J. B. Daudu SAN, and Austin Aleghe, SAN, and struck out the 170 charges.
“Even though he was given a clean bill of health by the Federal High Court, Chief Ibori was later convicted and jailed by a British court on the basis of the same evidence.
“Despite the fact that the handling of the case exposed the Nigerian judiciary to gargantuan embarrassment, the NBA never challenged senior lawyers who have continued to frustrate the prosecution of corruption cases through frivolous objections, interlocutory appeals and stay of appeals as well as orders of interlocutory or perpetual injunctions in favour of treasury looters.”
He urged the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN) not to give in to pressure from the NBA.