…says draft bill threat to EFCC’s existence
The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, has raised the alarm over an alleged plan to “demolish” the on-going fight against corruption.
According to Sagay, the alleged plot is to be executed through the instrumentality of a bill he said that had been drafted, for possible presentation to the National Assembly.
Specifically, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who made the claim in a statement, Wednesday, by the Communications Officer of PACAC, Mr. Aghogho Agbahor, said the proposed bill seeks to whittle-down the power of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), via the repeal of the EFCC Establishment Act (2004).
To buttress his position, Sagay stated that the draft bill proposes the “scrapping of the Commission (EFCC) and replacing it with a weak Agency which is going to be effectively, a department in a Federal Ministry of Justice under the Attorney General of the Federation.
The statement entitled: “Grave threat to the continued existence of the EFCC”, reads: “There is an on-going very sinister and dangerous attempt to demolish the Anti-corruption infrastructure of Nigeria and return it to the situation it was in during the dark days before 2015.
“Those behind it are the representatives of the corrupt establishment that brought this country to its knees and subjected us to humiliation as a result of an extremely negative reputation internationally. It can be said without equivocation that this is the mother of corruption fighting back.”
He described the proponents of the bill, whom he failed to identify, as “enemies of Nigeria, who are presently too ashamed to put their names to the draft bill being circulated”.
He said the following proposals were being sought in the bill, among others: “The replacement of the Executive Chairman of the EFCC with a Director General who is effectively to be appointed by the Attorney-General. This eliminates the EFCC’s freedom and autonomy and replaces it with an entity under the complete control of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General.
“The replacement of the Board of EFCC with Directors who are effectively to be appointees of the Attorney-General.
“The elimination of the position of the Secretary of the EFCC, a critical officer who serves as the institutional memory and the Administrative Head of the Agency.
“Section 11 of this Proposed Act provides that nobody may be appointed or seconded to the new Agency being proposed, unless he is first screened by the Directorate of State Security and approved by the said Agency.”