Inspire public confidence in seeking files from EFCC, Osigwe tells AGF
The immediate past general secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mazi Afam Osigwe has charged the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) to inspire public confidence in the conflict between his office and that of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The office of the AGF had accused the EFCC of not willing to hand in files of high profile cases in its custody in order to enable the National Prosecutorial Committee study and take action on them and therefore issued a directive to that effect.
Speaking with law editors in Lagos at the weekend, Osigwe noted that there is no doubt that the office of the AGF is constitutionally empowered to supervise the EFCC, but added that the administration of the office of the AGF has been carried out in such a way as to suggest some degree of hostility between it and the EFCC.
He said: “And some times, when these directives are issued, it gives the impression that there is ulterior motive in it; that they may be a ploy by the AGF to show interest in certain cases to ensure they do not go forward. It is not about the constitutional power, but the bona fide of the actions and he does not seem to inspire public confidence in the exercise of this power.
“If there is cooperation between the two officers, it is not a matter that should be within the public domain; a private meeting between them would iron it out.
“To what extent has the AGF showed seriousness in prosecuting cases being handled by his office? Why the sudden interest in high profile cases by the EFCC? I think it should get all of us worried.
This present AGF should do his best to inspire confidence in the people and in the fight against corruption and not giving the impression that there is a bad blood between his office and that of the EFCC chairman. And they are appointees of the same government, so there is need for a closer working relationship between them.”
The lawyer also pointed out that certain imbalances in the administration of the country have made it difficult for people to feel a sense of oneness, stating that it has given rise to unending agitations by certain group of individuals. “I think that sitting down to talk about restructuring the nation would be one of the sure ways of addressing them. Even though restructuring was defeated at the senate, the senate president has said that the matter would be revisited,” he said.