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Prosecute Any Lawyer Caught In Money Laundering – Falana To EFCC

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Femi Falana
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Lawyer and human rights advocate, Femi Falana, on Monday, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute any attorneys implicated in money laundering.

In response to a recent comment made by the Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, issued the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

Mr. Bawa has sworn to shine a spotlight on everyone involved in financial fraud, including attorneys.

Mr. Bawa had said during the session that it would no longer be acceptable for politicians to use their accounts managers, lawyers, precious stone dealers, and other recognised non-financial firms and professions to launder their funds.

So, in accordance with the new Money Laundering Act of 2022, he had hinted at the anti-graft agency’s plans to “go after those” supporting such financial crimes by stepping up its investigation through its Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, SCUML.

In his response, Mr. Falana, who classified the remark as only an allegation, pointed out that such serious accusations must be supported by reliable pieces of proof.

“As a senior lawyer, I deal with evidence; if the EFCC alleges that lawyers are involved in money laundering, with profound respect, it should take a such lawyer to court.

“This is because, in other parts of the world, lawyers and other professionals are called gatekeepers and the law deals with them severely; the law is the same in Nigeria.

“So, if the EFCC chairman has his evidence, (and I know he has his evidence), then his duty is to charge such lawyers before the court, so that the menace of money laundering can be seriously tackled.

“I am not talking of lawyers alone; the usual gatekeepers are lawyers, accountants, bankers and estate agents.

“I am not unaware that the EFCC has had cause to charge gatekeepers including lawyers to court for money laundering.

“Some are standing trial, some have been tried, and so, where there is evidence linking lawyers with money laundering, such lawyer should be charged before the court,” he said.


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