Stop ar­ro­gat­ing ju­di­cial pow­ers to your­self, Rivers tells Magu

The Punch - - NEWS - Chuk­wudi Akasike, Port Har­court

RIVERS State Gov­ern­ment has said the eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial

Crimes Com­mis­sion has no power to in­ves­ti­gate the fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions of the state.

The state Com­mis­sioner for In­for­ma­tion and

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Pas­tor Pauli­nus Nsirim, made the re­mark in Port Har­court on Wednesday in re­ac­tion to state­ments cred­ited to the act­ing Chair­man of the

EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu.

Magu had said on Tues­day in Port Har­court that La­gos and Rivers states were head­quar­ters of money laun­der­ing.

He had added that the court judg­ment halt­ing the EFCC from prob­ing Rivers State would not stand.

He had said, “Noth­ing is go­ing to stop us, even the is­sue of the court or­der al­legedly ob­tained by Dr Peter odili and oth­ers to stop the EFCC from in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion has been over­taken by events.

But Nsirim said the EFCC could only probe the Rivers State Gov­ern­ment if it va­cated the Fed­eral High Court judg­ment that de­clared that it could not in­ves­ti­gate the fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions of the gov­ern­ment.

“Magu can­not claim that the judg­ment can­not stand, ex­cept he wants Nige­ri­ans to be­lieve that he has started is­su­ing in­struc­tions to the Supreme Court.

“It is un­for­tu­nate that in a democ­racy, some­one hold­ing a pub­lic of­fice would want to muz­zle the court,’’ the com­mis­sioner said.

on the al­le­ga­tion that Rivers State is the sec­ond cap­i­tal of money laun­der­ing in Nige­ria af­ter La­gos, the Nsirim boss won­dered how the EFCC ar­rived at such con­clu­sion.

“To jus­tify this al­le­ga­tion, the EFCC should make pub­lic the names of peo­ple they have ar­rested and pros­e­cuted in Rivers State over money laun­der­ing. If this is not done, Magu’s state­ment would just be seen as mere play­ing to the gallery to en­joy cheap pub­lic­ity,” he said.

Nsirim added that the state gov­ern­ment would sup­port the EFCC to fight cor­rup­tion within the am­bit of the law, but would re­ject any at­tempt to sub­vert the rule of law in the state.

The com­mis­sioner ad­vised the act­ing EFCC chair­man to be pa­tient and de­sist from the il­le­gal­ity of ‘‘ar­ro­gat­ing to him­self the ju­di­cial pow­ers of the courts.’’

• L-R: Wife of the newly pro­moted Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Mrs Kemi Ti­ti­layo; her Hus­band, Kay­ode; and In­spec­torgen­eral of Po­lice, Muhammed Adamu, dur­ing the dec­o­ra­tion of newly po­lice of­fi­cers in Abuja… on Wednesday. Photo: Olatunji Obasa

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