Obono-Obla: EFCC Not Cooperating With AGF

By Eniola Akinkuotu and Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, on Tuesday, alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission were not cooperating with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN. 

Obono-Obla, in an interview with The PUNCH, absolved the AGF of any blame for the losses of the high-profile corruption cases as the agencies had allegedly defied the minister’s directives on the cases.

He noted that many of the fraud cases against some former governors, being handled by the EFCC and the ICPC, had been stalled at investigation stages for over 10 years.

He noted that many of the fraud cases against some former governors, being handled by the EFCC and the ICPC, had been stalled at investigation stages for over 10 years.

He cited the example of how both the EFCC and the ICPC defied the AGF’s request for the duplicate case-files of the high-profile cases being handled by the agencies.

He said, “Although the Attorney General of the Federation has the power under both the constitution and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to make a request of any case file that is pending either with the police, the ICPC, the EFCC or any of the prosecuting agencies, we met a brick wall when we requested the files of the high-profile cases of former governors from the EFCC and the ICPC.

“They don’t cooperate with us. We cannot use a whip to start beating them, but I expect that the rules of public service require that if letters are written by the office of the AGF, those letters should be honoured.

“They don’t want to work with the office of the AGF.”

On what the AGF would do, he said, “We will keep on making the request so that at the end of the day, anybody, who accuses the office of the AGF as being responsible for the delay in the prosecution of criminal cases, then we present our evidence.”

He said the AGF’s office had updated its list of high-profile cases which the minister requested their files from the anti-corruption agencies last year.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported in July 2016, that the AGF had written separate letters to the EFCC and the ICPC requesting the case files of 31 former governors.

On the list then were the names of Senate President Bukola Saraki (a former Governor of Kwara State); former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno); and Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio (a former governor of Akwa Ibom State); and ex-governors Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia); Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu); Saminu Turaki (Jigawa); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); and Joshua Dariye (Plateau).

They also included former governors Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara); Gabriel Suswam (Benue); James Ibori (Delta); Martin Elechi (Ebonyi); Danjuma Goje (Gombe); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Ikedi Ohakim (Imo) and Peter Odili (Rivers).

Obono-Obla told our correspondent on Tuesday that the list had been updated with the inclusion of new names.

He said the updated list included the name of the Senator representing Anambra North, Stella Oduah.

“We will request the case files from the EFCC and the ICPC again,” he said.

But the Head of Media, EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said he would not take issue with the President’s aide on the allegation that the commission was not cooperating with the office of the AGF in the prosecution of high-profile cases.

 

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