Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ) Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu Thursday warned judges and lawyers involved in election petition tribunals against money laundering.
He said they must not allow the influence of money and other inducements to hamper the process and determine the outcome of petitions.
Magu, in a statement, noted that many judges wrongly see Election Tribunals and Appeal Panels as potential gold mines.
He said some of them even desperately lobby to
be included as members.
“Consequently, we want to remind all lawyers, judges, elected public officials and members of the wider society not to use the Election Petition Tribunals as conduits for siphoning public funds because there is a huge price to pay for such.
“The EFCC has the statutory powers to monitor, track, investigate, arrest and prosecute such and other offences.
“Our Commission shall exercise such powers throughout this election period and beyond in the interest of building a corrupt-free democratic society where probity and accountability are enthroned for good governance.
“The guiding principle of the EFCC on this matter is simple and straightforward: the right of choice of Nigerian voters is sacrosanct, and justice is not for sale,” Magu said.
According to Magu, all lawyers and judges at the Tribunals have a responsibility to dispense justice without inducement, fear or favour.
He said with the international community watching, Nigerians have a patriotic duty to act responsibly, and portray a good image for Nigeria.
“The principal actors at the Tribunals comprising petitioners, defendants, lawyers and judges have greater roles to play in this than the rest of us.
“The EFCC wants to strongly state that the rights of Nigerian voters to freely choose their leaders are sacrosanct and that their choice should not be thwarted on the altar of corrupt material inducement by anyone,” Magu said.
Urging Nigerians to come out enmass to vote tomorrow, Magu said elections are the only way they can collectively build a free, stable and prosperous democratic society for the benefit of all citizens.