The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, yesterday said he is not out to cast aspersion on Nigerian judges and lawyers, who he hailed as some of the best on the continent.
He said comments attributed to him in recent media reports regarding the conduct of judicial officials were not intended at impugning their integrity.
Magu stressed that his comments, and activities of the EFCC should not be misconstrued as a blanket indictment of all lawyers and judges but, rather directed at a few bad eggs within the system.
He made the clarifications in a statement through the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren.
The EFCC boss, however, said the few corrupt lawyers and judges will not be spared.
Magu said: “There is no way one can make a blanket statement on the integrity of lawyers and judges. Nigeria is blessed with some of the best lawyers and judges on the African continent.
“My worry is that the bad ones amongst them are giving the good ones a bad name.
“There is no blanket condemnation of lawyers and judges but the corrupt few will not be spared”.
He said the EFCC deeply “appreciates the support of most conscientious, upright and patriotic members of the bar and bench (including defence counsels), leading to the Commission’s unbeaten prosecution and conviction record.
Magu added: “Mindful of the fact that judges are constrained from publicly responding to criticism against them, the commission only employs legal and administrative procedures, including investigation of errant judicial officers and laying complaints against them before the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“In the same vein, the Commission has charged to court and secured convictions against a number of lawyers”.
The EFCC chairman, therefore, called on all patriotic members of the bar and the bench to “join the renewed campaign against corruption and money laundering, while exposing the corrupt among them”.