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Sagay: Lawyers who receive proceeds of crime as fees deserve harsh punishment

Sagay: Lawyers who receive proceeds of crime as fees deserve harsh punishment
September 06
08:38 2017

Itse Sagay, chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), says the police and anti-graft agencies should investigate lawyers who receive proceeds of crime as fees.

Sagay said this on Tuesday while delivering a lecture in Lagos, entitled ‘The many afflictions of anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria’.

“These SANs deserve the harshest punishment of all. Anti-graft agencies and the police must monitor and investigate the activities of lawyers who receive a share of the proceeds of crime as their fees,” he said.

“The anti-corruption struggle is like a long distance race. It cannot be concluded overnight. The opposition is extremely powerful, using state resources to fight back.

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“What we are going to see is a progressive dismantling of the corruption infrastructure. Convictions will occur now and again, but there will be frequent forfeitures of looted funds and other types of property. Remove stolen loot from the culprit and his life becomes miserable.”

Speaking on, Sagay said Nigerian lawmakers are in office for themselves and not the people.

He said apart from a basic salary of N2.4 million per month, the lawmakers earned allowances that totals to N3.2 billion per annum.

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The PACAC chairman also said the legislators have resisted the fight against corruption by rejecting the right of the executive “to choose the persons who will spearhead that struggle”.

According to him, since July 2015, the national assembly had not “a single bill” promoting the anti-corruption war.

“Perhaps the most notorious example of the legislators’ resistance to the war against corruption is the rejection of the right of the executive to choose the persons who will spearhead that struggle,” Sagay said.

“The clear impression is created that Nigerian legislators are in office for themselves and not for the populace.

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“Not surprisingly, the national assembly has not passed a single bill for the promotion of anti-corruption war since it commenced business in July 2015.

“The whistle blowers protection bill, the proceeds of crime bill and the special criminal court bill remain in a virtual state of stagnation. What evidence do we need to establish the hostility of the eighth Assembly to the anti-corruption war?”

He also said PACAC would push for the prosecution of bank chiefs who connive with looters to hide stolen funds.

“In my own little way, we are going to push for the prosecution of such bank chiefs. They must be prosecuted,” he said.

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“There is a gang-up of the of the powerful political, business and banking elite that is determined to frustrate the anti-corruption struggle.”

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