Ibrahim Lamorde, the Executive Chairman of EFCC, with Odenigbo Charles, National Chairman, Lawyers in the Media (LIM) while on a courtesy visit to the EFCC Hqtrs, recently.
Nigerian Lawyers in the Media, LIM, have called for the strengthening of the EFCC Establishment Act in terms of stiffer punishments for persons convicted over economic and financial crimes. This call was made on Wednesday May 23rd, 2012 by the National Chairman, LIM, Mr. Charles Odenigbo during a courtesy visit to the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde in Abuja .
According to Odenigbo, the LIM which is an affiliate of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has watched the evolution of the EFCC with interest and believes in the capable hands that are steering affairs of the Commission; and therefore called for greater collaboration between the EFCC and LIM in a bid to rid the nation of economic and financial crimes. “Those of us senior editors who have watched this Commission over time, believe that whoever ignores the EFCC does so at the risk of this nation as it is only the EFCC that can take us to where are going”, he said.
Odenigbo said that LIM and EFCC could collaborate. He offered for more regular coverage of the Commissions activities, quarterly interactions and a participation of the EFCC in the upcoming NBA Annual Conference.
In response, Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde told the visiting lawyers who are also journalists, that even before the advent of the EFCC; the media fought corruption vehemently and as such should view the EFCC as its ally.
“Before the EFCC was established, if there is any professional group that has fought corruption in this country to almost a standstill it is the media. You have always been in the forefront as the conscience of the society and pointed out the ills of corruption, economic and financial crimes in this country; with some of you paying dearly for that, even going to prison”, he said
The EFCC boss called for continued collaboration between the Commission and the media in improving the fight against economic and financial crimes; while also highlighting the challenges the EFCC encounters in prosecuting its cases.
He further called on the visiting Lawyers in the Media not to allow people with “financial muscle” which the Commission is prosecuting to plant frivolous and fictional stories about the EFCC in their media organizations.
He said “I will appeal to you to highlight some of the difficulties and challenges we encounter in court in your reports and make sure that, though as lawyers you have the responsibility to defend an accused person, you should do it responsibly; because these evils of corruption affect all of us. There is no way we can make appreciable progress if people are not punished, and the only avenue of meting out the punishment is through the courts”. Lamorde promised that the EFCC will take advantage of the upcoming NBA Annual Conference through participation, and assured that the doors of the Commission will always be opened to the public.
Other officials of LIM that accompanied Odenigbo on the visit include: Kio-Lawson Theodora, General Secretary; Igbanoi Jude, Treasurer; Unaduikwu John Austin, Ex-Officio; and Yomi Adeshida.
Media & Publicity Unit
23rd May, 2012.