- Falana counsels colleagues against receiving bribes from politicians
- Advises them to put things in the right perspectives
Human rights activist and top legal luminary, Femi Falana (SAN) has revealed how an ex-governor tried to bribe him with N405 million to help steal funds abroad.
Falana, The Nation reports, also asked legal practitioners to avoid being tempted into assisting politically exposed persons in committing financial crimes.
The respected legal practitioner's statement at an anti-corruption workshop in Abuja was made available in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) monthly magazine, ALERT, obtained by journalists on Friday, July 29.
"The governor asked me to assist him in transferring money abroad, and that I should claim it to be proceeds from sale of his property in Nigeria.
"And the price was extremely attractive. He was going to pay me a million pounds then, when money was money.
"The governor said he had chosen me for the shady deal, because ‘nobody will suspect you.’
"I told him, ‘Your Excellency, so it is my reputation that you want to buy with your one million pounds?'
"Some of my colleagues thought I was stupid, but those who accepted the offer later found themselves in trouble, as they were arrested and humiliated. They were only lucky not to have been charged to court," Falana was quoted to have said.
While advising his colleagues against being used by lawyers, Falana noted that, "Lawyers have a paramount role to play in the fight against economic and financial crimes, as they are the ones usually employed by well-heeled members of the society to help perfect documents for illicit transactions, and to cover up their tracks."
Falana, SAN, speaking during a recent conference had said that the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the Minister of Justice had not worked in the public interest and should therefore, be separated.
The lawyer who noted then that there was no constitutional provision for a Minister of Justice to also serve as the attorney general, had said: "One of the reasons is constitutional. By virtue of Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution, while the President has the power to appoint an Attorney General, it is not required by law that the Attorney-General shall be the Minister of Justice."