The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has expressed optimism that Court cases barring it from investigating and prosecuting past and present officials of the Rivers State Government accused of corruption instituted about 13 years ago may at last be vacated by the Supreme Court.
The Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, who expressed the optimism, while fielding questions from a Cross-section of Journalists at EFCC Zonal Office, Port Harcourt, said
“We are very optimistic about the Supreme Court vacating such encumbrances because in our view, such cases do no longer hold water as various court judgments have affirmed categorically that no court can stop EFCC and other security agencies from investigating anybody accused of corruption, not even Judges. We believe that the issues no longer hold water and overtaken by events.”
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Ibrahim Magu assured the people of Rivers State and Nigerians that immediately the legal bottlenecks are cleared by the Apex court, most of corruption cases involving past and present officials of Rivers State Government would be investigated and those found culpable would be prosecuted.
Ibrahim Magu stated that next to Lagos State, Rivers State tops in corruption index, in Money Laundering and Illegal oil bunkering among the cases under the radar of the anti-graft agency.
“Nothing is going to stop us, even the issue of the court order allegedly obtained by Dr Peter Odili and co to stop the EFCC from investigation and prosecution has been overtaken by event even though the matter is still at the supreme we on it,” he said.
He further promised that the commission would do its best to ensure that such cases are reduced.
“I think Rivers state is the next to Lagos in terms of crime. This is the headquarter of money laundering, because there is a lot of oil money, bunker money here.
“I think you can rate Port Harcourt the second to maybe Lagos when you talk of people playing with sinking, diving, hiding, maybe because of the large space of oil deals,” he said.
“That decision that is pending in the Supreme Court does not actually, cannot hold water again. There are subsequent judgement that has discarded it.
“Clearly, there are other judgement that came up and said nobody, not even the judge, not even the judiciary, not even the court can stop us from investigating and prosecuting,” Magu said.
Giving an overview of performances of the Agency, Magu stated that in 2019, 1,245 convictions were successfully secured, including that of three former governors and revealed that the convictions were unparalleled since the establishment of the agency