InterviewPilot Law

EFCC: Buhari must appoint those that’ll uphold rule of law – Isau

Saka Abimbola Isau was conferred with a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) title in 2006 and was at different times secretary to Kwara State Government and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. Called to the bar in 1985, he bagged his first degree in Law from the University of Ibadan. In this telephone interview with ACTING EDITOR, MUMINI ABDULKAREEM, the former chairman of Ilorin bar (2000-02) speaks on the saga of the embattled EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu and advice for President Muhammadu Buhari. Excerpts:
What do you make out of the whole Magu scenario?
Well, what I feel is what most people are feeling which is that the constitutional provision has been that nobody is above the law and everybody is equal before the law. If somebody is suspected to have committed an offence, the law should take its cause. What is happening now is not strange or new but the constitutional provision and to do otherwise is what is wrong. Anybody can be probed especially those who have put themselves forward to hold position of responsibility. In doing that, one must be very careful and responsible so that at the end of the day, such person will not be call upon to give account of his or her deeds while in office. Political appointment or responsibility is not something that one should be joyful about until one is able to accomplish it successfully without any blemish. That is when is it safe to say such a person has achieved.
His lawyer has complained about the processes that have been followed so far, what is your reaction to this?
Well, I know that Justice Ayo Salami who is the person chairing the federal government presidential panel to probe him is a very competent jurist and would not allow that due process will not to be followed. I am sure about that.
Before now, many lawyers have differed about the propriety or otherwise of Magu’s acting capacity status. If there is any need for the President to appoint another person, what will be your advice?
The EFCC Act is there and the procedure to be followed and background of the would-be appointee are also stated. My submission on this is that the law that establishes the EFCC in picking his successor, that is in the case he is indicted now and he is not returning to the seat, then the law must be followed.
Magu’s present case is reminiscent of all the past chairmen that have headed the EFCC. Going forward in the fight against corruption and for the integrity and credibility of the commission, what do you think should be done?
It all borders on what I have said earlier. Political responsibility is not a thing of joy, it is a task and one must be very careful once he is given a political position because of the day of judgment and every political appointee has a Day of Judgment so that after leaving the office, people may want to ask one or two questions, the person should be able to answer them very well. Whoever is given responsibility must be very careful, follow the law and due process. By doing so, he will not get his hand soiled at the end of the day. That is it.
But what do you make of this allegation coming from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, somebody in the same government with Magu?
All that is happening now is only allegation and whatever infractions Malami has accused Magu of are mere allegations for now because they are criminal offences which must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Until the panel investigating the matter laid down its finding to determine whether he is guilty or not, nobody should conclude now that Magu is guilty. He is not until otherwise is proved. All what is a happening now is that nobody is above the law and that is why he is being probed. But probing is not the same thing as been found guilty.
What is your advice for the president in all of these, is there any need for an amendment to the EFCC Act?
It is not only the law that makes a country to be efficient but the people also and the attitudes of those living that also matters. It is their attitudes or behaviour that shapes the country and not the law. So the law maybe well crafted but if people are not following it, there will be infractions here and there. The constitution of the United States of America is not as clumsy as our own here but yet, people follow it to the latter. It is not about amending the EFCC Act or constitution but about amending our own way of life, conduct and mindset. So in appointing another person if there is need for that at the end of the day, President Buhari needs to search for those that will uphold the rule of law. That is all.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *