Anti-money laundering & financial crimes conference by Gbenga Oduntan
“A timely conference given the dramatic developments in legislation (uK Anti-bribery Act) national and international sanctions regime against Northern African regimes and other corporate entities; dramatic fines and indictments, and the onset of high profile investigations and prosecution.
Mrs Farida Waziri, chairman of the economic and Financial Crimes Commission (eFCC) expressed concerns that defence counsels have mastered the art of delays in making sure that justice is delayed and elusive in money laundering trials.
Phillip Hackett QC (Argent Chambers London). His presentation to the audience focused on the need for all governments to pay sufficient attention to the issues of due process that must go hand in hand with anti-corruption prosecution.
The presentation covered instances of “gung ho” approach to anti-corruption cooperation by state security and other investigative personnel. uK and us policing and security operatives are known to have wandered unescorted to various parts of Nigeria taking depositions and questioning persons in apparent violation of local laws and best international practices. He noted the legal chaos that irregularly obtained evidence can create in these circumstances. He also noted the shortcomings in cases where the trials of multinationals from the us, uK and elsewhere are conducted abroad outside of where the offences were committed, determined and prosecuted.
Tthis situation he notes can and should be brought to an end by a more proactive attention and interests by Nigerian authorities. Whilst his presentation expressed support for the effort of the Nigerian authorities he emphasized
the importance of judicial oversight and the need to offer accused persons full and fair trial in the best traditions of adversarial justice system.