The Acting Chairman of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has accused some Senior Advocates of Nigeria of frustrating the country’s anti-corruption war for pecuniary gains.
Magu levelled the accusations in an article he wrote as the Nigeria Bar Association started its Annual General Conference.
He said the senior lawyers knowingly supply the technical know-how and help in the dispersal of the proceeds of crime.
Magu, who did not name the SANs, said one of them received N1.7 billion in legal fees from a corrupt politician.
He said the same SAN received N300 million from a governor in the South South as legal fees for an election petition case and failed to pay tax.
He, however, took advantage of the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme when he realised he was under probe.
Magu said: “It is personally disheartening to see lawyers who invest their talents and expertise in advancing the cause of corrupt politicians and public officials. It is amazing that a senior lawyer can accept professional fees of N1.7 billion from a politician without scruples!
“The same lawyer with a turnover of N3,765,414,995.24 only paid valued added tax of N7,051,928.24. The N300m cash payment which the senior lawyer received from a South-South state government in an election petition matter in 2016 was never captured in his tax submissions to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
“Yet when he got wind of EFCC investigation, he was quick to take advantage of the VAIDS window as cover to shield himself from the commission’s dragnet.”
On the SAN with turnover of N5.1 billion, Magu wrote: “Another senior lawyer who is quick to advertise himself as the nemesis of the EFCC, has a turnover of over N5.1 billion with an assessed total tax liability of over a billion naira between 2010 and 2017. Sadly, he merely declared a meagre N8m as gross earnings for 2014 and 2015, and N10 million for 2016.”