The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is arguably the most important agency in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari owing to his Excellency’s determination to eliminate corruption in the country.
Led by the no-nonsense Ibrahim Magu aka ‘General’, the EFCC has made several high profile arrests and recovered a lot of looted funds from these thieving individuals.
Convictions are very few though as cases are often tried on the pages of Newspapers and on social media rather than the courts. Those cases that eventually make it to court are dragged forever until the public and sometimes the media lose track of them.
Here are the five groups of people that are collectively responsible for the snail pace at which corruption cases are tried in Nigeria.
- Lawyers – It has become common practice for Nigerian lawyers defending thieves in high places to do their utmost best to prolong as much as possible, the trials of their clients. They do it so well that one begins to wonder if it was a particular skill they learned in Law school. It is undoubtedly a form of corruption when lawyers relentlessly prolong corruption cases with all the tricks in the book so they can make more money from the criminals they represent.
- Judges – Judges are complicit in the delay in dispensation of justice. They hardly sit when they should and when they do, they permit all sorts of frivolous applications from lawyers who are clearly trying to frustrate the trial in the first place. Judges need to be more diligent and accelerate hearings on corruption matters in the interest of Change.
- Rented Protesters, Sympathizers: It has now become a habit for crooked politicians to hire protesters with placards claiming their benefactor is being witch hunted. They intimidate the prosecution and sometimes the Judges and cause needless distractions.
- Wailers (on both sides of the divide): Social media voltrons, especially on Twitter, have turned themselves into specialists in all matters be it Law, Politics, Psychology and even Medicine. They have an opinion on every case and are quick to whip sentiments anytime one of ‘their own’ is the subject of investigation. They delight in misinforming their impressionable audience, heating up the polity in the process.
- EFCC: The EFCC is its biggest problem when it comes to the delay in the conclusion of trials. They have, in recent times, made school-boy errors that expose them to counter suits. Their lack of diligence and proper investigation and preparation will be their undoing in their fight against corruption. They also need to do more in the actual courtrooms rather than in the media since nobody can be convicted on the pages of newspapers.
– Daniel Fayemi for encomium.ng