Monday, May 27, 2019

Senate, House ‘rush’ to amend EFCC Act

Should senators and House of Representatives members have their way, the Economic and Financial Crimes (Establishment Act) 2004 will be amended before the expiration of their tenure
According to The Nation report,  the lawmakers are seeking to amend the law barely 13 days to the expiration of the Eighth National Assembly.
The amendment seeks to empower the President to appoint EFCC chairman from not below the rank of an Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) or equivalent in other security agencies.
If the amendment scales through, it will disqualify the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu from being re-presented to the Ninth National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
There were indications at the weekend that the bill may be passed this week. Only one day sitting is needed for the Senate to have concurrence with the House of Representatives.
The House had last Tuesday passed the EFCC Act Amendment Bill.
Another aspect of the bill makes it compulsory for the EFCC to obtain ex parte orders before seizing suspects’ assets.
The ex parte order clause will deny the EFCC the powers of invoking Interim Forfeiture Clause in its Act without recourse to the court.
However, there are fears that the National Assembly may be on a wild goose chase because it has a few legislative days left.
Besides, President Buhari may not give assent to the bill at the twilight of the Eighth Assembly.
The amendment bill has been in the works since 2015.


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