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ATTAH'S BAIL: LAWYER RAPS EFCC

By NBF News

A legal practitioner, Kayode Ajulo, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) not to continue to treat the money laundry allegation against former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Obong Victor Attah, with kid gloves, saying it would dent its war against corruption.

Barrister Ajulo, who stated this in an interview with journalists, yesterday, claimed the administrative bail granted the ex-governor by the EFCC was as an attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet.

'The EFCC investigation into the N45 billion V-Mobile scam had been on even before the former governor left office in 2007. One wonders why the EFCC after two years of investigation into the matter would now grant Attah administrative bail,' he said.

Ajulo, who is chairman of a non-governmental organization, Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA), contended that a lot of Nigerians were in different prisons in the country for stealing one thousand naira while 'the EFCC continues to grant administrative bail to those who have been alleged to have dipped their hands into the public till.'

'Nigerians should be treated equally before the law. Granting Attah administrative bail, if they do not know, is sending a very bad signal to Nigerians about the sincerity of the EFCC to fight corruption.

'After two years of investigation what stops the EFCC from charging Attah to the law court. They should not be seen to be above board on very sensitive matter as this. I know they will say his travel documents have been seized. That is not what Nigerians expect.'

He argued further that the same EFCC granted former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori, administrative bail and seized his travel documents but he still fled the country.

'We do not want that to happen in this case and that is why we want Attah and all others fingered in the alleged scam to be charged to court.

'As a lawyer, I believe everybody should be presumed innocent before judgment. But the manner the commission grants administrative bail to an accused, I am afraid, is an attempt to gloss over the issue and a mockery of the war against corruption,' Ajulo said.

Last Wednesday, Attah was quizzed for over eight hours in Abuja by the EFCC interrogators over his role in the alleged N45 billion V-Mobile shares scam during his tenure as governor. He was later granted administrative bail while his travel documents were reportedly ordered seized.