EFCC: FG moves to reduce power of Commission Chairman

EFCC: FG moves to reduce power of Commission Chairman

The Federal Government, on Sunday, September 6, revealed the imminent creation of a bill seeking to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) Act has weakened the Office of the Chairman and created a new position known as the Director-General of the EFCC.

1st News garnered that the bill is entitled, ‘An Act to Repeal the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 (act no. 1 of 2004) and Enact the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act Which Establishes a More Effective and Efficient Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to Conduct Enquiries and Investigate All Economic and Financial Crimes and Related Offences and for Other Related Matters.’

According to sources, the bill is being put together by the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on behalf of the Federal Government for onward transmission to the National Assembly.

This is coming in the wake of the suspension of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu.

Magu had accused Malami of frustrating the anti-corruption war of the President Muhammadu Buhari.

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According to the proposed law, the EFCC director-general will be appointed by the President based on the recommendation of the AGF and likewise subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The director-general, and not the chairman, will also be in charge of the running of the daily affairs of the commission.

Section 8 of the bill reads in part, “There shall be for the commission, a director-general who shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Attorney General subject to the confirmation by the Senate.

“Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, the Director-General shall be a retired or serving member of any government institution, including any security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of a director or its equivalent or a person from the private sector.

“A person shall not be appointed as a director-general unless he is of proven integrity; and has 15 years cognate experience in security; forensic or financial crimes investigation; forensic accounting or auditing; or law practice or enforcement relating to economic as well as financial crimes or anti-corruption.”

According to the proposed law, equally important, the DG shall hold office for a period of four years; subject to reappointment by the President for a further term of four years and no more.

The bill further states that the chairman of the EFCC shall be the head of the EFCC board.

Other members of the board shall include the director-general; a representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice; a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria; the Director of Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit; two other Nigerians with 15 years cognate experience in legal finance; banking or forensic auditing; as well as the Director of Administration who shall be the secretary of the board.

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