The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has lambasted another senior advocate, Mike Ozekhome, over his comment against the EFCC.
Ozekhome, who is the lawyer of owner of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, had said last week that the EFCC was not empowered by law to be a “debt collecting agency.”
He had also accused the EFCC of impunity saying, “Neither the EFCC nor the special panel is empowered by law to be a money or debt collecting agency. The problem with these people is that they are getting too used to doing things with impunity without following the rule of law or due process and the earlier they stop that the better.”
Reacting, Sagay described the words of Ozekhome as reckless. He said the EFCC by law is empowered to recover funds, freeze assets and accounts.
Sagay said, “The EFCC Act Section 71 (B) gives the EFCC the power to commence investigations into the property of any person if it appears to the EFCC that the person’s lifestyle and extent of properties are not justified by law.
“Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the court.
“Section 29 permits the assets of a person arrested under Section 28 to be seized by the state.
“Finally, another powerful Act which has not yet been used is the Recovery of Public Property Special Provisions Act Cap R42004 Laws of the Federation which is totally focused on the recovery of property. It is focused on that alone.
“So, how can someone wake up and say the EFCC is not meant to seize property. These are special provisions for the recovery of properties and fund. So, Ozekhome definitely knows not what he is talking about.
“When he wants to defend his friends, he should go and check the law and be sure what he is talking about. Nigeria has laws that entitle you to recover properties and that is the emphasis for now because we need our monies and properties back from the looters.”