The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has described as routine a visit by its chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa to the Chief Judge of Lagos State Judiciary, Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba.
Citing reports in both online and mainstream media, particularly a report captioned: “Controversy Trails EFCC Chairman’s Visit to Lagos CJ”, published by a national newspaper, the anti-graft agency says the report alleged that the visit by the EFCC Chairman to Justice Alogba, after a court session, where he was prosecution witness, is now a subject of controversy.
The EFCC says though the source of the controversy was not stated by the writer, it insists that the Commission is however constrained to state the fact of the visit to forestall needless innuendos and misrepresentation.
“What the writer termed as controversial was a scheduled courtesy visit to the Chief Judge. There was nothing secret or clandestine about the visit which was undertaken by Bawa in his capacity as Executive Chairman, EFCC; and not as a prosecution witness in an ongoing criminal trial before a judge of the Lagos High Court.
“As the writer alluded to, it is not strange for heads of anti-corruption agencies to visit heads of the judiciary to solicit synergy. Lagos State Judiciary, in particular, is critical to EFCC as the bulk of the Commission’s cases are domiciled in the jurisdiction. Thus, the visit by the EFCC Chairman to the Chief Judge of the state was a routine courtesy call that should not be exploited by mischief makers to fan the embers of disaffection between the Commission and members of the Bench”, a release by the Commission read in part.
The Commission also frowns at what it termed “obvious design to draw a non-existent nexus between the visit and the ongoing case where Bawa has been in the witness box for over 5 years”.