Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), a ministerial nominee from Kwara State has stated that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) must obey court orders.
He spoke on Wednesday when he was screened by the Senate in Abuja, pledged to work with the National Assembly and the judiciary “on certain parameters” if appointed the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice by President Bola Tinubu.
Fielding questions from the lawmakers on disobedience to court orders by federal agencies, Fagbemi, who was accompanied to the screening exercise by over 10 senior advocates, said the DSS and the EFCC should conduct investigation before arrest and not arrest before investigation.
He said, “The major areas where we have these disobedience of court orders, with main respect, are between these agencies. My advice will be that in matters of law, the AGF should be involved.
“DSS cannot be an island onto itself. EFCC cannot continue to behave as if there is no law. There is law and if you want to do investigation, you do investigation before inviting the accused person. It is not a question of inviting him and say you have caught a big fish and at the end of the day you say you are investigating.”
On his reaction if a President flouts court orders, the senior lawyer said, “I think with respect, you will not find the President flouting any order because the Attorney General will be made a party to.”
“The mere fact an order is made does not mean that you should obey it immediately. You’ll think about it, do I appeal? If I am not appealing what do I do next? If I am not appealing, of course, I cannot subject the order of court to any order of validity.
“By Section 287, it has to be obeyed, not only by the government but by every authority and persons in Nigeria,” he said.