Human Rights lawyer Mr Femi Falana, (SAN) on Sunday offered his rebuke of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the sight of sealed assets and seized vehicles belonging to suspects of financial crimes being allowed to rot away.
Falana said sealing up of properties while cases were still pending in courts did not do the public any good as the assets waste away with no economic value.
“I do not subscribe to the locking up of assets or properties while a case is still pending in court. I do not think the EFCC or other anti-corruption agencies should be doing that, he said at the presentation of ‘Compendium of High-Profile Corruption and Financial Crimes Cases in Nigeria.’
“If somebody has stolen money to build a hospital, just like the one on Adeniyi Jones in Ikeja, somebody was alleged to have stolen to build the hospital worth about N2.5billion, which is sealed now.
“For me,you are not doing the public any good by just locking up the place and by putting your inscription: ‘Under Investigation’.
“Why don’t you allow it to function so that the place can benefit the people, because it is already acquired for public purpose.
“And this should go for all buildings too. People are looking for accommodation and you just lock up blocks of flat over cases still pending in court.
“And these cases may be in court for years.And by the time the cases are concluded, the premises you have sealed no longer have their value.
“The EFCC was set up to revive businesses not to liquidate them.You liquidate businesses by just getting some court orders.That to me, is not the way to fight corruption,” he said.