EFCC has no authority to probe Kogi’s finances - Agbakoba

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Olisa Agbakoba, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has no constitutional right to probe how a state spends its money.

 

Agbakoba, while speaking with journalists in Lagos on Sunday, said only the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and state assemblies have the responsibility to probe state expenditure.

 

“Like the current trending case where the EFCC arrested some people in Kogi state on allegations of money laundering, I believe that case should not be the business of the EFCC, at all,” the senior advocate said.

 

“Is it their business how Kogi spends their money? Even if it is their business, is it their lawful business to make that enquiry?

 

“The supreme court has recently said in one of its judgments that the EFCC cannot be a jack of all trades and that they should concentrate on what the law empowers them to do under Section 46 of their Act.

 

“It is not the duty of the EFCC to be chasing the Kogi state government and threatening to storm the state house to seize documents or harass the accountant-general of the state.

 

“What the EFCC is currently doing is turning itself into a one-man Robin Hood riot gang. That must not be allowed and that is the impunity that I refer to.

 

 “If I were the lawyer to the Kogi state government, what I would do is to go to court and tell the court that as a result of the supreme court judgment, the EFCC does not have the power to demand that we should provide documents or give them our accounting books.

 

“If we have lost money, we are the ones to complain and if we are not complaining or we are complicit in any fraud, then the appropriate agency to handle it is the ICPC or the state house of assembly.”

 

Agbakoba further stated that if the EFCC wants to expand the scope of its functions, “they must go to the national assembly to do so”.

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