- Onueze Okocha, a former president of the NBA, has expressed dissatisfaction with activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
- Okocha said it is unlawful for the EFCC to storm a state and begin unilateral investigations of its finances
- He, however, noted that the commission does not have power to invade Rivers state government
Onueze Okocha, a former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) expressed dissatisfaction with activities of the EFCC saying it is a lawlessness for the commission to invade a state and start unilateral investigations of its finances.
Speaking during a special appearance on African Independent Television’s (AIT) morning magazine programme, Kaakaki, on Wednesday, August 29, Okocha said the state House of Assembly has oversight functions over a state governor.
He said: “The state House of Assembly has oversight functions over the governor of Rivers state. What is the business of the EFCC in a state when we are in a federation? We are not a primary school administered by a headmaster. It is totally unlawful.
“We have a proverb that says if I have my money and I want to use it to buy groundnut, it is not your business. What is the business of the EFCC? Is the money of Rivers state the money of the federal government?”
He said monetary transactions by the Rivers state government will not lead to any misfortune for the federal government to warrant the invasion of Rivers state by EFCC.
Okocha said: “What economic misfortune will the spending of Rivers state money bring or visit on the federal government? It is totally unlawful.
“We operate a federal system of government. What that indicates is that a measure of self government is given to the states.
“They receive their funds direct from the federation account. They control and disburse their funds in accordance with the appropriation laws made by the Houses of Assembly of the states.
“And they are perfectly entitled to deal with the funds as whoever is the state chief executive deems fit. What will you say if, tomorrow, you hear that EFCC has frozen the account of the federal government because it wants to investigate whether the federal government or that the president exceeded the limit of spending? It is unheard of.”
He said: “I see this as a calculated attempt to stifle operations of certain states that, perhaps, the federal government considers are not friendly.
“You know there was a time they froze the account of the governor of Ekiti. The court made a pronouncement that they have no such powers. This is all along the same line.
“EFCC is now turning out in this fight against corruption to appear as if it is an attack dog against perceived enemies of the federal government.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that the EFCC denied reports that it froze the accounts of the Akwa Ibom state government.
The denial was made by the anti-graft agency, following claims by the Akwa Ibom commissioner for information, Charles Udoh, on Wednesday night, August 8, that the state government’s accounts had been frozen.
The EFCC stages a walk against corruption - on NAIJ.com TV: