It came as a rude shock, as the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, denied ever dragging Senate President, Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, on account of false declaration of assets.
The denial came barely 48-hours after the three man panel, led by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Danladi Umar, cleared Saraki of the 18 count charges leveled against him by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
Reacting to the historic judgement, the EFCC through its official handle tweeted: “For our friends that do not know, the EFCC was not prosecuting the Senate President.”
One Irene however replied: “I thought Rotimi Jacobs is Counsel to EFCC.”
In response, the anti-graft agency responded: “The learned silk is an independent Lawyer for the State. He could also be Lawyer to ICPC, NIA, DSS.”
Post-Nigeria nonetheless recalled, that the CCT during the trial, had admitted into evidence, a statement Saraki, made before the EFCC, in relation to corruption allegations against him.
The EFCC’s denial came after Human Rights Lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), mocked the EFCC, over Saraki’s victory.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ozekhome said: “EFCC, much-trumpeted media trial of cases, dramatic hype and conviction of suspects on the pages of newspapers and social media, leading the country to now?
“PACAC, where has your bare knuckles, warped and puerile ‘legal advice’ to the vindictive Exec
“You have actually done more harm and damage to the so called anti -corruption ‘war’ than all the vampires and barbaric, primitive accumulators of our national wealth and common patrimony joined together.”
Ozekhome said the performance of government prosecutors in court, is reminiscent of the television comedy programme, ‘Fuji House of Commotion’.
Ozekhome had added: “Through your unresearched and myopic stance, the government has serially lost cases. Rather than put your ‘Fuji House of Commotion’ in order, you always shamelessly declare that “corruption is fighting back”, and that the courts are against the anti-corruption fight, as if the courts owe the Executive a sacred duty and obligation to help it trample on citizens’ rights and win badly prepared and lousily prosecuted cases at all cost.
“What we saw from the EFCC stable as usual, was the usual Baba Sala’ Alawada Kerikeri’s Odeon histrionics, and sensational media hype of Saraki receiving humongous pensions from Kwara State Government, whilst simultaneously receiving a salary from NASS; of Saraki taking loans to buy many properties; of Saraki owning many assets, etc.
“How did these prove specific declaration of assets? No attempt was made by the EFCC to prove the essential ingredients of false declaration. I was laughing. I am still laughing. Corruption, a very corrosive and ravaging cancer that has virtually destroyed the weak fabric of our society, cannot be defeated outside observance of the rule of law, and by trampling on citizens’ rights and cherished freedoms.”