The Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) applauds the call by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, A.B. Mahmoud SAN for a debate on the efficacy of the war against corruption in Nigeria. Where corruption is endemic like in Nigeria strong institutions are critical to achieve success. It is in this context that the debate on the propriety of the EFCC investigating and prosecuting financial crimes at the same time is appropriate.

We support the position of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association. HURILAWS position is supported by international best practice and the need to build the capacity of the EFCC to deliver on its core mandate which is investigation of financial crimes. The international best practice is that one agency investigates, another prosecutes and the court adjudicates. The EFCC as currently composed is overworked and will not efficiently deliver on investigation and prosecution.

Whilst we have no objection with the EFCC investigating or the courts adjudicating, we believe the powers to prosecute should be vested in an independent highly resourced prosecuting agency. We appreciate the enormous work done by the EFCC since its establishment in 2003. 13 years on the Federal Government needs to rejig the EFCC and other crime fighting institutions to perform optimally. We support plan by the Attorney General