Money laundering: Lawyers urge EFCC on proper investigations, not allegations


Two lawyers have urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to stop making blanket statements against other professionals.

The lawyers gave the advice on Tuesday while reacting to the allegation made by the commission’s chairman, that lawyers were involved in using their law firms to aid politicians launder money out of the country.

The lawyers, Mr Bayo Akinlade, former Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and Mr Chris Ayiyi, said that the EFCC had the power to investigate anybody, whether professional or not.

They, however, said that it was unprofessional of the Commission to make blanket statements.

Akinlade said that EFCC would be running a fool’s errand by going after lawyers or professionals who had the responsibility to keep their clients’ details private.

“There is no intention of the EFCC that will counter the age long requirements of lawyers to keep the discretions of their clients.

“The EFCC chairman should not go around making allegations, the commission should do proper investigations and prosecute those who are guilty,” he said.

Similarly, Ayiyi said that EFCC’s allegation against lawyers was not totally true.

According to him, a client may bequest his personal properties to any of his children pending maturity and to be overseen by the lawyer.

Ayiyi said, “hence the issue of lawyers paying children school fees and purchase of other goods of necessity.

“The law is clear, if a lawyer is engaged in property transaction to the tune of N1billion, the power of attorney states such lawyer’s account should be used for that transaction.

“This is legal but the EFCC will invite the lawyer for questions”.

Ayiyi said that there were actions against the EFCC in this regard.

He said, “We are waiting for the pronouncement of the law and a further test of the law at the apex court so that we can take a position.” (NAN)


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