Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba, has called for a major overhaul of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The new Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, who assumed office on Monday, received a list of “urgent” tasks by Agbakoba. Among these include resolving the overlap of responsibilities between the EFCC, ICPC, and other law enforcement bodies.
Agbakoba suggested that the EFCC should focus solely on investigations, while a new national prosecution agency should be formed. He also emphasised the necessity for a fully decentralised police force at local, state, and federal levels.
“The Rwanda model of law modification could serve as an inspiration, where 1000 laws were altered. A similar overhaul of outdated laws is needed in Nigeria,” Agbakoba stated.
He further expressed concern over the slow pace of justice, citing that cases can take up to 15 years to conclude from the high court to the Supreme Court. Agbakoba urged the AGF to establish sector-specific dispute resolution agencies to alleviate the burden on regular court dockets.
Pointing to the inefficient over-centralisation of superior courts, Agbakoba proposed major constitutional amendments to create federal and state courts, each having exclusive jurisdiction over matters relevant to them. He believes this would declutter the Supreme Court, enabling it to focus on policy matters.
Agbakoba expressed his utmost confidence in Fagbemi to undertake these reforms, describing him as a brilliant AGF.
IMAGE: Economic Confidential