The has ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission () has no authority to arrest and prosecute state governors after they leave office.

The court also ruled that the EFCC lacks the authority to investigate state finances. As a result, if a governor steals money from a state where he is governor, the EFCC has no authority to prosecute him.

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Only the state’s attorney general or the Nigerian police, or any other agency covered by the Criminal Code, Penal Code, or any other law, can prosecute the governor.
The federal government can no longer use the EFCC to exert control over state governors, and it can no longer use the EFCC to prosecute any politician who does not fall into its favor.
The apex Court, in a landmark judgment in Dr.Joseph Nwobike SAN Vs. Federal Republic of Nigeria, Appeal No. SC/CR/161/2020, told the anti graft agency that its powers to investigate and prosecute financial crimes under Section 46 of the EFCC Act was not at large.

Meanwhile, Lawyers have said that the Supreme Court has, by this judgement, corrected the anomalies of the past and restored constitutional order by reinforcing the prosecutorial powers of the Attorney General of the Federation under Section 174 of the Constitution for federal offences and the powers of Attorneys General of the respective States under Section 211 of the Constitution.”

Amos Olalere, an Abuja-based lawyer, said the justices of the apex court must be commended for this show of courage in restoring constitutional order. ”

“EFCC has no role whatsoever in the intra-state pursuit of public officials or private contractors, Under the guise of fighting corruption.

Their role, as captured by the UN convention on fighting corruption, defined by the law establishing the Commission and as affirmed by the apex Court, is to prevent illicit financial outflow from Nigeria, “he noted.

“The tenure of the judgement is an indictment of EFCC and the supervising ministry that an agency set up to prevent the outflow of money from Nigeria abandoned its core mandate and got enmeshed in activities that are clearly outside its purview.”

“This judgment clearly calls for a total overhaul of the agency in order to position it to focus on and pursue the important task the agency was set up to achieve,” stakeholders say.

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