By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the proposed executive bill to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Act.
SERAP said the bill if passed and signed into law would severely undermine the commission’s independence, and render it a ‘toothless bulldog or toothless tiger’.”
The organisation, in a letter dated September 19, 2020, by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, therefore, urged Buhari to urgently instruct Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to withdraw the proposed executive bill.
The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption headed by Professor Itse Sagay had last week reportedly 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 said: “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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