A civic group has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to probe allegations of bribery and corruption against Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) lawyers; Rotimi Jacobs , Rotimi Oyedepo and Wahab Shittu, counsel to Ibrahim Magu, suspended Chairman of the EFCC.
The anti-corruption group, Human and Society Development Agenda (HSDA) in a statement on Monday signed by its Chairman, Segun Olayinka and made available to newsmen said the lawyers are Ibrahim Magu’s accomplice and have several corruption cases to answer.
The group accused the lawyers of being shareholders in Ibrahim Magu’s loot , adding that a proper investigation of the lawyers is what Nigerians expect from the president.
It partly reads , ” The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission lawyers, Rotimi Jacobs , Rotimi Oyedepo, Ibrahim Magu’s counsel, Wahab Shittu are on the same pedestal of corruption as Magu and should not be overlooked. These are the men that laid the cornerstones and created enabling environment for Magu to amass as much wealth as he could. Because Magu is not very bright, they gave him all the legal backings and support on how to loot and reloot looted assets.
” We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the three lawyers and put a finale stop to corruption in the anti-graft agency . There are several businessmen who have cried out on how Rotimi Jacobs and his brother Rotimi Oyedepo demanded huge amounts of money for their cases in the EFCC to be closed. When they refuse to pay the huge sum, the Rotimis would use the EFCC to harass, intimidate and amend count charges as they wish . The three lawyers have also acquired property worth billions in Nigeria and no one is asking them the source of those monies.” the statement reads
The group also threatened to embark on a protest should the President fail to set up investigative panels against the lawyers soon .
The demand from the Civic group is coming barely weeks after a Chieftain of the APC in Oyo state, Chief Femi Adedibu called on the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel probing the embattled and suspended acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to look into the activities of EFCC lawyers Rotimi Jacobs and Rotimi Oyedepo.
The Prominent Chieftain also requested the presidential panel to publicly invite Nigerians who must have had extortion experiences with the two lawyers to send in memoranda and petitions just as he said the anti-graft commission lawyers stinks of professional misconduct and are worse than Ibrahim Magu.
In an interview with a Nigerian blog, Warrireporters.com , Adedibu said he had petitioned Justice Ayo Salami – led presidential panel investigating Magu to also look at the extensively damaging bribery allegations made by some Nigerians against Rotimi Jacobs and Rotimi Oyedepo.
According to Adedibu, the experiences shared by some people who have had encounters with the anti-graft commission lawyers are very saddening and embarrassing. “Corruption is so pervasive in Nigeria that it has turned public service for many into a kind of criminal enterprise . How can a lawyer representing such an anti corruption institution demand 200 million naira to close cases before the EFCC? It goes to show us the magnitude and moral deficits of people representing the institution.
“Rotimi Jacobs and Rotimi Oyedepo are brothers and need to be thoroughly investigated. They are worse than the politicians they take to courts and deserve to rot in jail. What they do is to use the EFCC to arrest, harass and intimidate anyone that fails to pay their price . It is more painful because the EFCC is the only Nigerian government institution that was meant to pose a meaningful challenge to the impunity enjoyed by corrupt and powerful members of the political elite. It is important and necessary for Justice Ayo Salami – led presidential panel to find quick and pragmatic steps to bring the two lawyers to account for their misconducts.
Speaking further, he said , “I am even thinking the presidential panel is slow to have not extended their investigations to them . They have a synergy with Ibrahim Magu and that is why he allowed them to handle more than 70 corruption cases at the same time. It is time Buhari sanitize the anti-graft agency and put in a more responsible people to head the institution.
“What I mean to say is that Magu could never have acted alone, we want them to holistically investigate Rotimi Jacobs and Rotimi Oyedepo, the director of operation, the directors of records and audits from the time of Nuhu Ribadu and we heard the stories about the Kangaroo execution of orders that are not known to law. So, it is not just about Magu but those that helped him to work against Nigerians and conspired to commit the same crime with him” He said.