President Buhari: asked to stop amendment of EFCC act
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to jettison the proposed amendment to the act establishing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, as it will render the agency a toothless bulldog or tiger.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), in an open letter to Buhari on Sunday said the proposed executive bill, being pushed by Attorney-General Abubakar Malami, will severely undermine the EFCC independence.
The organisation cited the alarm by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption headed by Professor Itse Sagay, about the bill.
Sagay last week raised concerns that “the government is pushing a bill to amend the EFCC Act, 2004, which will demolish the anti-corruption infrastructure of Nigeria, and confer an enormous power of control of the anti-graft agency on the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.”
SERAP, in its letter signed by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, concurred with Sagay.
“The bill, which is apparently designed to undermine the independence, integrity and freedom of action of anti-corruption agencies, ignores the seriousness of grand corruption and its impact on Nigerians’ human rights, the rule of law, principles of good governance, development, as well as the threat corruption poses to the country’s constitutional order.”
According to SERAP: “By pushing to turn the EFCC into a department in the Federal Ministry of Justice, and effectively bring it under the control of the Attorney General; and to subject the appointment of the agency’s head to the approval of the Directorate of State Security, your government would seem to indicate that it is not interested in combating corruption and halting its putrefying effects.”
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Should the proposed bill become law, SERAP promised to pursue legal action in the public interest, and to ensure that anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria can operate independently and effectively.”
“SERAP contends that Nigeria’s constitutional and international legal obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of everyone inevitably create a duty on your government to establish independent and efficient anti-corruption mechanisms.”
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