- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been asked to prosecute any lawyer who is involved in money laundering
- Femi Falana made the call recently while reacting to a statement by the chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa
- Meanwhile, Falana urged legal practitioners to distance themselves from such financial crimes and live up to the tenet of the offices they occupy
Lawyers involved criminal acts should be punished. This is the position of Femi Falana, a lawyer and human rights activist.
Falana advised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute any lawyer involved in acts of money laundering.
Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in reaction to a recent statement by the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa.
Bawa had vowed to beam searchlight on perpetrators of financial crimes, including legal practitioners.
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The EFCC boss spoke in Lagos at a one-day workshop on financial crime reporting organized for journalists by the commission.
Falana said in reactions.
“As a senior lawyer, I deal with evidence; if the EFCC alleges that lawyers are involved in money laundering, with profound respect, it should take such lawyers to court.
“This is because, in other parts of the world, lawyers and other professionals are called gatekeepers and the law deals with them severely; the law is the same in Nigeria.
“So, if the EFCC chairman has his evidence, (and I know he has his evidence), then his duty is to charge such lawyers before the court so that the menace of money laundering can be seriously tackled.
“I am not talking of lawyers alone; the usual gatekeepers are lawyers, accountants, bankers, and estate agents.
“I am not unaware that the EFCC has had cause to charge gatekeepers including lawyers to court for money laundering.
“Some are standing trial, some have been tried, and so, where there is evidence linking lawyers with money laundering, such lawyer should be charged before the court."
Falana, therefore, noted that legal practitioners as gatekeepers, must distance themselves from such financial crimes and live up to the tenet of the offices they occupy.
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Meanwhile, the Labour Party (LP)'s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has been told whom to consult and visit to emerge victorious in the 2023 general elections.
At the LP national retreat on Monday, September 12, in Abuja, a renowned Nigerian human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, stated that Obi cannot get power by visiting those who destroyed Nigeria,
During the retreat also monitored by The Punch, Falana advised the former Anambra governor to go to labour and trade unions, youth and women organisations which, in his opinion, have the largest structures across the country.