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The EFCC Act Must Be Amended ASAP – CIRN



The Chairman, Center for Institutions Reforms in Nigeria, CIRN, Lai Omotola has come out to say that the act establishing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is due for amendment.

He recently revealed that a new structure is urgently needed for the 15-year-old commission to work properly and fulfill its mandate.

According to him, the EFCC being infused with the police is very challenging since the commission has grown to the level where it should be making use of its own officers trained at its academy.

He added that EFCC should be run the same way the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, and Federal Road Safety Commission are run in the country.

His words, “Nigerian media have been awash with ongoing investigation of suspended Acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu over the allegations of diversion of recovered looted funds, financial infractions and other acts of gross misconduct.

“Since its formation in 2003, EFCC has been battling with crisis which always lead to abrupt termination of tenures of its Chairmen. Magu’s predecessors, Nuhu Ribadu, Mrs Faridah Waziri and Ibrahim Lamorde also encountered bitter taste of unceremonious exits.

“The current system in which both Nigerian Police and EFCC are infused does not augur well for smooth and efficient operations of EFCC as the training, orientations and mandates of Nigerian Police and EFCC are different. Although, the duties of the two are similar; however, EFCC deals mostly with high profile cases of graft which usually requires higher degree of intelligence gathering and. extraordinary mode of extensive investigation; thus the need for EFCC to have autonomy.

“At its embryonic stage of existence, the interventional inclusion of the men of Nigerian police might be necessary, however, this should be temporal since it is now matured to be independent from police and make use of its own operatives.”

“If autonomy is not given to EFCC, the commission’s problems will continue to linger due to conflicts of interests and its Chairmen may continue to experience unceremonious exits.

“Economic and Financial crimes are more of unwholesome practices taking place in the private sector to hurt the economy while corruption is about embezzlement of public funds by politicians holding public offices. ICPC was formed yo fight political corruption.

“One of the reasons why EFCC always entangled in crisis is that it focuses more on political corruptions than economic/financial crimes, and people that are guilty of this corruption are politicians and in this our clime, it is extremely difficult to fight them. That’s why they keep on removing EFCC chairmen for different reasons.

‘Nuhu Ribadu, Faridah Waziri, Ibrahim Lamorde and now, it is the turn of Ibrahim Magu. All the experienced bitter taste of crisis that led to premature ends of their tenure.

“So, with all these experiences, it is very imperative that EFCC Act should be amended in a way that will give it a new identity and framework it deserves.”

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