Chief Femi Falana (SAN), a human rights lawyer has disclosed that a certain governor once offered hi the sum of says he once rejected a bribe of one million United Kingdom Pounce sterling which he rejected.
Falana according to The EFCC Alert, a monthly magazine, quoted by Punch Newspaper made the disclosure at an anti-corruption workshop in Abuja recently.
Falana said the governor told him to help him launder the money to another country but he rejected the offer.
He said, “The governor asked me to assist him in transferring money abroad and I should claim it to be the proceeds of sale of his property. The price was extremely attractive. He was going to pay me a million pounds when money was money then.”
Falana said he was stunned when the governor told him that he had chosen him for the shady deal saying “nobody will suspect you.”
“I told him, Your Excellency, so it is my reputation that you want to buy with your £1m.”
The senior advocate said some of his colleagues accepted to launder the funds for the governor but were caught and exposed.
“Those who accepted the offer later found themselves in trouble as they were arrested and humiliated. They were only lucky not to have been charged,” Falana added.
Falana said it was unfortunate that lawyers had become tools of money laundering.
He expressed displeasure with the ruling of Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court in Abuja who held that Section 5 of the Money Laundering (Prohibitions) Act 2011 could not be applied to lawyers.
The judge in the ruling restrained the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering from enforcing the section as it relates to legal practitioners.
The ruling came despite the fact that the Act categorised legal firms as Designated Non-Financial Institutions mandated to record all transactions and forward to the Federal Ministry of Commerce for onward delivery to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.
Falana, however, urged lawyers not to rely on the ruling as it would not stand the test of time.
Excerpts From Punch Newspaper
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