Rivers State government Wednesday boldly said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lacks the power to investigate the financial transactions of the state.
The commissioner for information and communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said in a press statement issued in Port Harcourt that EFCC can only investigate the government in violation of a federal high court judgement barring it from investigating the financial transactions of the government.
Nsirim said: “Magu cannot claim that that judgement cannot stand, except he wants Nigerians to believe that he has started issuing instructions to the Supreme Court. It is unfortunate that in a democracy someone holding a public office would want to muzzle the Court.”
On the allegation that Rivers State is the second capital of money laundering in Nigeria after Lagos, the information commissioner queried how the EFCC arrived at that conclusion, dismissing the commission as seeking cheap publicity.
“To justify this allegation, the EFCC should make public the names of people they have arrested and prosecuted in Rivers State over money laundering. If this is not done, Magu’s statement would just be seen as mere playing to the gallery to enjoy cheap publicity.”
Nsirim stated that the Rivers State government will support EFCC to fight corruption within the ambit of the law, but will reject any attempt to subvert the rule of law in the state.
He advised the acting chairman of the EFCC to be patient and desist from the illegality of arrogating to himself the judicial powers of courts.