QUOTE ME: Senator Maeba-- Defending his motion, Senator Maeba argued that the independence of the EFCC was adequately provided for in its enabling powers, adding that the commission's prosecution powers had been affirmed by the Supreme Court.
With EFCC's efforts, "Nigeria's ranking on the Transparency International Perception Index has improved, placing the country 146th out of 163 nations in the world and delisting Nigeria from its blacklist of nations with high records of financial crimes by the United States of America (U.S.)," he noted.
According to Senator Maeba, the face-off had put the present anti-corruption crusade into ridicule because of the utterances of the Attorney-General.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption, Senator Sola Akinyede, on Wednesday expressed doubts over the ability of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to effectively prosecute all cases.
Akinyede said this during an address he read at the inauguration of the committee.
He added that he had no doubt that by virtue of Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution, the AGF had the powers to take over the prosecution of all cases being prosecuted by agencies under him.
Akinyede, however, said, “The power not only applies to the cases being prosecuted in all courts including the more than 2,000 Magistrate Courts and area courts all over the 774 local government areas in this country.
“This therefore raises the question whether the office of the AGF has the capacity to effectively exercise its supervisory and prosecutorial powers over all the cases being prosecuted in all these courts.
“I believe that it was because the office of the AFG lacked, and in my opinion still lacks this capacity, and because of the serious threat that these crimes had become to the very existence of our nation that these specialized agencies( EFCC, ICPC and NDLEA) were created.”
He argued that it would be a share waste of time and resources to deploy the nation’s resources to train specialised personnel to man these agencies only to have their functions taken over by another government body.
The chairman said while it was true that some of these agencies were not perfect because they were manned by human beings, it must be acknowledged that the activities of these agencies had improved the image of the country.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, said that whether people were willing to admit it or not, the EFCC had perform creditably.
On drugs he said consumer nations would do well by reducing drug demand.
He said “It is obvious that without rule of law, we can’t deliver dividends of democracy but we cannot encourage rule of law by tolerating corruption.”
END OF QUOTE: In his remarks, Smart Adeyemi declared: "There have been a lot of questionable court orders that have ridiculed the judiciary itself. And the Attorney-General has allowed his personal interest to becloud his sense of justice in this case. The EFCC should not be ridiculed in the name of fighting for the rule of law. The Attorney-General should be told that his duty is not to attack the EFCC on the pages of newspapers."