Anti-corruption agencies should utilize the ‘ogbologbo’ lawyers in its fold – Obasanjo

Obasanjo suggested a three-pronged approach of thorough investigation, diligent prosecution and ensuring that the judiciary is committed as a better way of fighting corruption.

This approach, he believed, would make anti-corruption agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission more effective.

The former President asked the anti-graft bodies to utilize the lawyers in its fold rather than engaging lawyers from outside the agencies to handle the prosecution of their cases.

Obasanjo believed that lawyers from outside the agencies might deliberately file a weak case just to give the other party an advantage.

He said, “To make the anti-graft agencies more effective, we need more light than heat. I was reading today when the President said the EFCC should stop losing cases.

They lose cases for a number of reasons. One, they engage more of outside lawyers. I believe that they need staunch ‘ogbologbo’ lawyers inside (within the agencies) that will do the work.

“If I am a lawyer and I want the opponent to win a case, what I will file will be wishy-washy. And if I file a wishy-washy case, the opponent will see the loophole and he will get out of it. I believe that it is important.

“Secondly, thorough investigation is very important. Now, investigation must be thorough, it must be proper and it must be really taking seriously.

“Our judges must be committed to fighting corruption because if the investigation is very sound and you have ‘ogbologbo’ lawyers to handle cases, if you have ‘Salamigate’ you know what the answer will be.

“So it is a line – investigation, prosecution and the judiciary. If there is a weakness along this line, chances are that corruption cases will continue to be lost.”

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