By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Advocacy for Integrity and Economic Development (AIED) has accused the Nigeria Police Force and similar security agencies of the federal government of lacking the needed integrity to continue chairing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The organization made this assertion on Friday in a press release signed by its Director of Media and Publicity, Comrade O’Seun John, while requesting for an immediate amendment of Section 2(1) ii, Section 3(2) and Section 8(1) of the EFCC Act.
According to AIED, the continuous mockery of the EFCC by successive Chairmen has shown clearly that the foundation of the Commission is faulty.
“We view the imbroglio that greeted the removal of Ibrahim Magu has a signpost of a faulty foundational system for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“While we acknowledge that the reign of Mr Magu knighted the barter of justice, executive blackmail and graft in heart of the commission and his unceremonious removal is justified and speedy trial is recommended, we are afraid that successive Chairmen of the commission may not be able to function properly should the commission remain under the wings of the President and appointment of its Chairman limited to the Nigeria Police and similar security agencies.
“Firstly, we find it hard to believe that our legislators could, in their true consciousness, place the running of such an important anti-corruption agency in the hands of security agencies who are the poster child for nefarious activities. It is rather amusing that the Nigeria Police Force was given any consideration at the formation of the EFCC. It is a global fact that the Nigeria Police Force does not possess the integrity to police the country effectively not to talk of curbing corruption.
“We are therefore proposing an amendment to Section 2(1) ii that limits the qualification to the position of the Chairman of the EFCC to ‘a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent’ we strongly believe that there are men and women of character in Nigeria who have proven over the years that they possess the courage, integrity and independence to act right.
“Furthermore, it is repugnant to the expected doctrine of independence of an anti-corruption Agency if its Chairman and Secretary are appointed by the President and can be removed or suspended solely by the President as evident in Section 8(1) and Section 3(2) of the EFCC Act.
“For the EFCC to be truly effective, the Chairman and Secretary of the Commission are expected to be free from executive and partisan control.
“To achieve this, a special board made up of civil society organizations, judiciary and academics should be empowered to nominate the Chairman and Secretary of the Commission while also serving as the disciplinary authority of the Commission.
” It is our belief that anything short of wholesome independence of the EFCC will continue to enthrone criminals disguised as Saints for the Chairmanship position while the Commission continues as a tool to settle political scores.