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NAIRAWAY Forum / Politics / SGF, Femi Falana Lament Lawyers’ Roles An Aiding Corruption (1 Post | 250 Views)
SGF, Femi Falana Lament Lawyers’ Roles An Aiding Corruption by nairaway(m) : 11:37 am On Jun 17, 2016
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal; the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN); and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), among others, have lamented the roles of lawyers, judges and professionals in aiding corruption.
Also speaking along the same line, the Executive Secretary of the PACC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said efforts were on to isolate and penalise professionals, who contributed to money laundering, failed to expose their corrupt clients but chose to share from the proceeds of crime.
They spoke in Abuja at a workshop on the ‘Role of professionals in the fight against corruption.’
The workshop was co-organised by the Sagay-led PACC, the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria and the Convention on Business Integrity.
Lawal said some lawyers and a few compromised judges, helped corrupt persons to frustrate their successful prosecution of criminal cases, a development which he said was injurious to government’s anti-corruption war.
Babachir, who was represented by an official in his office, Mr. Tor Tsavsar who is Director, Nigerian National Volunteer Services, said there was the need for professionals to see themselves as stakeholders in government’s anti-graft efforts .
He said, “From recent revelations, corruption is usually aided and facilitated by conniving civil servants and professionals in the public and private sectors. It is no news that most stolen funds are laundered through our banks and other offshore entities that are owned and managed by professionals.
“A recent case of the ‘Panama Papers scandal’ is an example of how politicians, criminals and rogue industries were assisted by professionals to launder stolen funds. It is equally regrettable that some of the professionals do not stop at aiding, abetting and facilitating the stealing of public funds, but more often than not, go further to offer direct and indirect support to indicted officials to beat the law.”
On his part, Falana urged the Government and anti-graft agencies to beam their searchlight not only on public officers and politically-exposed individuals, but on professionals, drug dealers and human traffickers.
He faulted a judgment by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of Federal High Court, Abuja, in which he held among others, in a suit filed the Registered Trustees of the NBA, that lawyers could not be subjected to certain anti-money laundering provisions and requirements under the MLA.
“The question is: Is the judgment of Justice Gabriel Kolawole an immunity that allows legal practitioners to launder money for their clients?” he wondered.
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