The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to halt an executive bill seeking to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act.
The advocacy group said it believed the amendment, which seeks to bring the EFCC under the control of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) in the Ministry of Justice, would turn the anti-graft agency into a toothless bulldog.
In an open letter on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, to Buhari, SERAP recalled that the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), had last week expressed concern about the effect of the proposed executive bill.
SERAP called on Buhari to instruct the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to immediately withdraw the executive bill.
It said, “By pushing to turn the EFCC into a department in the Federal Ministry of Justice, and effectively bring it under the control of the Attorney General; and to subject the appointment of the agency’s head to the approval of the Directorate of State Security, your government will seem to indicate that it is not interested in combating corruption and halting its putrefying effects.
“This bill is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations, including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”
SERAP urged Buhari to withdraw the executive bill as advised, threatening that it would go to court if the Federal Government went on with the bill.