The Rule of Law Advocates (RoLA), a civil society group has petitioned the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking resumption of trial of Alex Okoh, DG Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) over financial crime.
RoLA in a petition addressed to the Chairman of the commission, Abdurasheed Bawa and signed by its chairman Dauda John, drew the attention of the EFCC to case no: ID/1432/C/2015, which was filed at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja on the 25th of April, 2015 by the EFCC.
The case, the group said, was between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Bolanle Babalakin, Alex Okoh, Stabilini Vision Limited, Bi-Courtney Limited and Renix Nigeria Limited which bothered on fraudulent retention of proceeds from a criminal conducted.
RoLA, wondering why this particular case has lingered in the shadows since 2015, charged the EFCC to immediately resume prosecution of the case, adding that ‘people must be held accountable for their actions no matter whose ox is gored’.
“We as matter of public interest, call on the EFCC to immediately revisit case no: ID/1432/C/2015, filed at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja on the 25th of April, 2015 by the EFCC, between the Federal Republic of Nigeria versus Bolanle Babalakin, Alex Okoh, Stabilini Vision Limited, Bi-Courtney Limited and Renix Nigeria Limited; bothering on fraudulent retention of proceeds from a criminal conducted. This particular case has been lingering in the shadows since 2015 and we wonder why.
“Although, we understand, attempts allegedly have been made in the past to stifle the case, we urge you to please proceed with the prosecution of this case.
The enforcement of the law is mandatory, and there should be no sacred cows. People must be held accountable for their actions no matter whose ox is gored,” the group said.
Querying Okoh’s integrity, RoLA expressed discontent over his appointment as DG BPE in spite standing trial for financial crime which predated Buhari’s administration.
“According to our laws, people are innocent until proven guilty. However, to appoint into public office people like Alex Okoh, DG of Bureau of Public Enterprise, undergoing trial, lowers the bar in the quest for probity and accountability. Even though the Alex Okoh’s trial for financial crime predates the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, yet he was appointed the DG of BPE, thereby, making a mockery of Buhari’s stance on the fight against corruption”, the petition read.
RoLA commended the Bawa led EFCC for the level of moral fiber exhibited so far in the fight against corruption, despite pressures from high quarters to compromise the commission.
“As far as we know, the EFCC under Abdulrasheed Bawa remains the conscience of the war on corruption in Nigeria” the group asserted.