BENIN CITY – Fresh, verifiable and applicable facts have emerged from a Case Study carried out by the Africa Network for Environment (ANEEJ) involving Alhaji Aliyu Maula, George Ogbonna, Emmanuel Morah, Downstream Energy Resources and Ltd Rocky Energy ltd which recommends that the Federal government should resolve its dispute with judicial workers, and wants a sustained partnership between the EFCC and the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in order to sanitize the petroleum industry, as the commission regularly requires information and documents from the PPPRA.
At a well attended Press Conference addressed by ANEEJ’s Deputy Executive Director, in Benin City recently, Mr. Leo Atakpu, the group said the Second Case Study Report being released to the public with support of Justice for All (J4A) is backed by several documents including ANEEJ reports, media reports, and EFCC case files, interview of key staffs of EFCC, civil society activists, legal practitioners, the study revealed that while the defendants always used monies from their crime to employ as many Senior Advocates of the Law as they wanted to represent them, the EFCC was found to be no match in the intrigues, wrangling, maneuvers and power play from the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SANs).
‘The EFCC has also observed that the defense lawyers have so far been employing several delay tactics by way of frivolous motions and sometimes non-appearance of suspects in court during trial, so that the cases have dragged on for such a long time. Some of the suspects after being granted bail fail to appear in court afterward and some even travel abroad’, part of the study revealed.
The Study which aligned itself with the positions taken by Civil Liberties Organisations (CLO) that “lawyers exploit legal loopholes to frustrate fraud cases against high profile politicians therefore highlighting the need for the EFCC to engage public opinion in the anti-corruption fight.”
The study equally sought to unravel why no fuel subsidy corruption case has been successfully prosecuted till date from 2012, and to examine different issues faced by investigators and prosecutors and fingered “behind-the-scene” activities of highly placed politicians, poor funding of prosecuting agency, the EFCC and SFU as well as well as the long strike action embarked upon by Judiciary workers as major reasons for non-completion of a case till date.
ANEEJ called for speedy dispensation of all cases pending in courts which relates to oil subsidy corruption.