WRONG MOVE? – SERAP Writes Buhari Over Proposed Amendment Of EFCC Account

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), on Sunday, September 20, penned a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to withdraw the proposed executive bill to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] Act. According to details of the SERAP letter perused by iReporter, President Buhari was urged by the group to instruct Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to withdraw the bill.

SERAP further added that if passed and signed into law, it will severely undermine the commission’s independence, and render it a ‘toothless bulldog or toothless tiger’.

SERAP writes Buhari over proposed amendment of EFCC Act

It was reported last week that the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption headed by Professor Itse Sagay 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.”

In a similar vein, the letter dated 19 September 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare 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.”

SERAP also explained the incompatibility of the bill with the “Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

It expressed misgivings that the powers of the commission may be “substantially undermined, as the commission will now effectively become a body of the executive government, thus creating a heightened risk of political interference in the work of the commission.

“The government would seem to be secretly pushing the proposed bill to amend the EFCC Act, as there is no public consultation or public hearing regarding the contents of the bill.”

from iReporter Online https://ift.tt/2FOXBH4
WRONG MOVE? – SERAP Writes Buhari Over Proposed Amendment Of EFCC Account WRONG MOVE? – SERAP Writes Buhari Over Proposed Amendment Of EFCC Account Reviewed by Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah on September 20, 2020 Rating: 5

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