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Stop Plea Bargain, Former Taraba Commissioner Tells EFCC

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A former Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in Taraba State, Alhaji Ibrahim El-Sudi, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to stop its plea bargain policy.

El-Sudi, who is also the Chairman of All Progressive Congress in the state, noted that the plea bargain policy would hinder the success of the ongoing fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Speaking during a discussion with journalists, he said people who abused public trust should be allowed to face the consequences of their misdeeds.

He said, “It is unacceptable and dangerous to allow people entrusted with the power to loot the wealth meant for the people, yet allow them to go free through a plea bargain. You cannot dip your hands into public treasury and plead to return part of the loot to the government while you get away with the remaining and you expect the public to take the EFCC serious.

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“The anti-graft war must be taken very seriously because corruption has dealt a deadly blow on the country. In my opinion, corrupt leaders are even deadlier than terrorists and other criminal elements giving citizens sleepless nights across the country. They are responsible for millions of deaths due to poor health facilities, bad roads, hunger and several other decays in our society.

“Even the insecurity we are talking about today is substantially the consequence of corruption, actions or inactions of corrupt elements. That is why for me, I think it is very important for the anti-graft commission to remove the plea bargain clause from its books, so that those who have denied the people of their patrimony for so long, will face the full wrath of the law.”

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El-Sudi said corruption at state and local government levels was very high.

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He said, “I am aware that a lot of state and local government officials have been called in for questioning by the commission. I hope that all these ultimately culminates into the trial, prosecution and recovery of state’s funds blatantly embezzled by those in government.

“I urge the EFCC to expedite action against other collaborators in this conspiracy to defraud the people, and get them to face the law, since they do not enjoy immunity like some top functionaries.”

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