Law re­form com­mis­sion seeks un­bundling of EFCC

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Otei Oham (Abuja) and Lawrence Njoku (Enugu)

T Ostrengthen the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to rid the coun­try of cor­rup­tion, the Nige­rian Law Re­form Com­mis­sion (NLRC) yes­ter­day can­vassed for the un­bundling of Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC).

One key way of do­ing this, the com­mis­sion said, at a one-day pub­lic hear­ing by the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Com­mit­tee on Fi­nan­cial Crimes on a Bill to amend the EFCC (Es­tab­lish­ment Act, 2017), is the need to sep­a­rate Nige­ria Fi­nan­cial in­tel­li­gence Unit (NFIU) from the EFCC.

Speak­ing through Prof. Ju­mai Audi, a Com­mis­sioner in NLRC, the com­mis­sion in­sisted that if the mea­sure had been taken long be­fore now, Nige­ria would not have been sus­pended by the Eg­mont Group for in­ef­fec­tive fi­nan­cial in­tel­li­gence per­for­mances.

He be­lieved that its con­tin­ued oper­a­tions from the anti graft agency was threat­en­ing its ef­fi­ciency.

Ac­cord­ing to Audi, “NFIU should be in­de­pen­dent and made an au­ton­o­mous body sep­a­rate from the EFCC. “The Nige­rian Law Re­form ap­plauds the ini­tia­tive but rec­om­mends the es­tab­lish­ment of NFIU as an in­de­pen­dent and au­ton­o­mous body sep­a­rate from EFCC rather than as a unit domi­ciled in EFCC as pro­posed in the bill.

“Nige­ria was sus­pended from the Eg­mont Group for lack of au­ton­omy in the real sense of the NFIU and this po­si­tion has not been ad­dressed by th­ese pro­posed amend­ments, she said.

But the Sec­re­tary of the EFCC, Mr. Em­manuel Adeg­boyega Aremo, in his pre­sen­ta­tion coun­tered the po­si­tion of NLRC adding that “giv­ing NFIU an au­ton­omy out­side EFCC will en­dan­ger it.”

He said: “NFIU needs a pro­tec­tive shield from politi­cians, if you leave it to sur­vive alone, it will be en­dan­gered and ex­posed to ex­ter­nal in­flu­ence.”

Mean­while, the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion and Min­is­ter of Jus­tice, Abubakar Malami, has asked states and other stake­hold­ers in the jus­tice sec­tor to col­lab­o­rate with the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment in the on­go­ing re­form in the jus­tice de­liv­ery sys­tem.

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