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The former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was going beyond its boundary.

The legal luminary has said that the anti-graft agency was performing responsibility outside the Nigerian law.

The senior lawyer made this revelation at a press conference, which took place in Lagos.

He said the anti-graft agency was not created in accordance with the constitution.

He added that the EFCC does not have the power to look into the affairs of state governments as it’s a creation of the National Assembly.

“So the question would be, if the EFCC is created by the Federal Government can it then prosecute state offences?

“The Supreme Court in many of its decisions have held that federalism means two autonomous and independent governments and if that is correct, the EFCC does not have the right to go to the state and examine their accounts.

“Anybody can read section 46 of the EFCC Act and Section 36(12) of the 1999 Constitution. Section 36(12) states that all offences must be defined and when you now read Section 46, you ask yourself if it complies with Section 36(12) because it does not.

“So part of the prayers I would seek in court is that EFCC ought not to exist in the first place because it is not a branch of the police and that the job done by the EFCC is the same one being done by the Police Special Fraud Unit.

“My other prayer would be whether the National Assembly can make laws for the federation and to what extent can the National Assembly which is an arm of the Federal Government make laws authorising a federal agency to exercise powers as if it were a state agency.

“So all these contradictions should make the presidential candidates tell Nigerians what they are going to do about the Constitution because it is defective,” Agbakoba stated.

The former President of NBA said, “I do not believe that the EFCC understands the law that set them up because as a lawyer myself, I was a bit confused, as I discovered that the 1999 Constitution is structurally defective.

“I now understand why some people are saying that the country must be restructured. Whoever wrote this Constitution designed it for Nigeria to fail because, on the one hand, it seems to authorise the EFCC to interfere in state’s affairs while on the other hand, it does not.”

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