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EFCC urged to investigate ex-agric quarantine boss over graft claims

From Okwe Obi, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been urged to investigate the former Comptroller General, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr Vincent Isegbe, over claims of graft while in office.

The charge was made by about 500 lawyers under the aegis of Nigerian Concerned Lawyers, yesterday in a petition to the anti-graft agency.

Some of the signatories to the petition are; Okute Linus, Eta Okon Edet and Godwin Udemaduka.

They lawyers claimed to have the evidence of alleged gross abuse of office by Isegbe, and vowed not sit and watch him go unpunished according to the anti-corruption laws.

The petition reads in part, “We, the undersigned 500 Nigerian lawyers, are writing this petition to express our deep concerns regarding the alleged misappropriation of funds and financial irregularities while Dr Vincent Isegbe was the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS.

“We have gathered sufficient evidence to support our claims, and we firmly believe that it is our duty as legal professionals to defend the interests and well being of our fellow citizens as far as this matter is concerns Nigerians.

“According to our intelligence gathering, we discovered that such misappropriation of funds is deeply saddening and is a gross violation of the trust placed on Isegbe while serving as the Comptroller General of NAQS.

“As Nigerian lawyers, we firmly believe in upholding justice, accountability, and the rule of law. We cannot stand idly by while public resources meant for the advancement, upliftment, and promotion of important causes such as education, social services, public welfare, relief, and management of natural disasters are being misused and diverted.

“Therefore, we hereby call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to commence immediate investigation on the former Comptroller General of Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, Dr Vincent Isegbe, and if found culpable based on the anti-corruption laws he should be prosecuted.”

They, however, gave a 7-day ultimatum for Isegbe’s investigation to commence.

“We give a deadline of 7 days from the date of this petition for Isegbe’s investigation to commence, and failure to comply within this demand will result in peaceful protests organised by Nigerian lawyers across various cities in the country to express our dissatisfaction,” they said.

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