A new law passed by the Lagos state house of assembly and signed by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor, will establish an anti-corruption agency that has the “exclusive” rights to probe cases of corruption that have to do with the state.
The agency when set up will take over cases relating to Lagos from agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The law entitled ‘Lagos State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law’ was signed by Sanwo-Olu last week, according to the newspaper.
Investigations by the EFCC into the stewardship of Babatunde Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode, both former governors of Lagos, are said to be in progress.
There is also a petition at the EFCC against Bola Tinubu, former Lagos governor who is believed to be nursing a presidential ambition, over alleged corruption. Not much has been heard about it.
Mudasiru Obasa, speaker of the Lagos assembly who oversaw the passage of the bill, has also been accused of corruption. The speaker was grilled by the EFCC in 2020 and had all his accounts frozen through a court order.
They all denied any wrongdoing.
Section 13(3) of the new law says: “The commission shall upon the commencement of this law take over the investigation of all anti-corruption and financial crime cases involving the finances and assets of Lagos State Government being investigated by any other agency.”
Section 13(5) provides that, “the commission shall have the power to the exclusion of any other agency or body to investigate and coordinate the investigation of corruption and financial crimes cases involving the finances and assets of the state government.”
The new agency is empowered to probe any offence under the criminal law of the state in relation to corruption and financial crimes, abuse of office, offences relating to administration of justice, obtaining by false pretences, cybercrime, fake news, interception of emails and fraudulent dealing with property debtors.
The law did not bar the house of assembly or any court from probing corruption cases.
The law also empowers the new agency to probe unexplained wealth.Follow us on social media