EFCC accuses NBA President Mahmoud of Corruption, Incompetence

Chidi Samuel

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken a swipe at Abubakar Mahmoud, the new President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), accusing him of incompetence, dereliction of duty and corruption. In a stronly worded statement issued by the agency through its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, it described the  Abubakar led NBA as body peopled by rogues and vultures incapable of being professional and objective in the on-going anti-corruption war.He therefore argued that, “A bar populated or directed by people perceived to be rogues and vultures cannot play the role of priests in the temple of justice’. The statement was a reaction to the recent call by the NBA for the scrapping of the prosecutorial powers of the graft Agency.

The anti corruption agency came down  particularly hard on the new NBA President, accusing him of colluding with agents of corruption to sabotage the anti corruption war of President Mohammadu Buhari the way he and his cohorts sabotaged the works of the agency in the past. The agency reminded Nigerians that it was  the same Abubakar Mohammed who as the counsel for the Attorney General of Federation, bungled the trial of James Ibori, the former governor of Delta State, a man that was later convicted on the same charges in the United Kingdom. Mohammed was also the EFCC’s counsel in the appeal against the perpetual injunction from arrest and prosecution of the former Rivers State governor, Dr Peter Odilli, which is still pending at the court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, many years after it was initiated.

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According to Uwujaren, the question Nigerians must ask the Mahmoud-led NBA is, what is wrong with EFCC prosecution, adding that “Mahmoud is in a position to answer this question”.
The EFCC Spokesman noted that the NBA President was the Attorney General of the Federation’s counsel in the trial of former Delta State governor, James Ibori, at the Federal High Court, Asaba, a case which EFCC lost in questionable circumstances.

He alleged that “the same ingredients from that case were used to fetch Ibori a 13-year jail term in London”, and that “Mahmoud is also the commission’s counsel in the appeal against the infamous perpetual injunction from arrest and prosecution by former Rivers State governor, Peter Odili, which is still pending before the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, many years after it was filed”.

It will be recalled that the NBA had at its 56th Annual General Conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State advocated the reform of EFCC and the Judiciary. Its President, Abubakar Mahmoud, who delivered his inaugural speech shortly after being sworn in as the 28th President of the NBA at the occasion, called for the review of the broad operations of the EFCC as an investigative and prosecutorial agency, recommending that the commission should be limited to only investigation.

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