(Fortune Abang, NAN)
The Pan African Business Forum (PABF) has called on the need to review the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) laws, to include citizen participation in anti-corruption.
The President of PABF, Dr Prosper Ladislas, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He also described as apt, the House of Representative’s move to review a Bill for amendment of EFCC Act 2004, to expand the scope of eligible people for appointment as its chairman.
According to him, review of the bill has become important to create room for people who are more vast, competent and knowledgeable about Nigerian laws, to also be appointed and boost anti-graft operations.
“Reviewing the bill sponsored by Mr Olawole Raji, is apt, to amend the Act which limits only serving member of any government security or law enforcement agency to be appointed EFCC’s chairman.
“When such bill is passed into law, it will no doubt provide for other eligible Nigerians of proven integrity to hold office to contribute to nation-building.
“The restriction of the position on only security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Police, requires that more needs to be done to find a lasting solution to issues in the fight against corruption.
“A legal practitioner that is well vast and knows the law is likely to fight corruption more than the policeman, who is used to corruption.
“Chairman of EFCC must not be limited to policemen or any profession, but open to persons with proven integrity with determination to move the country forward,” Ladislas said.
He decried corruption said to be widespread, saying the scope of EFCC’s chairman should be expanded to legal practitioners and Customs officers with proven integrity, to chat the way forward in anti-graft wars.
Similarly, Mr Dahiru Yabo, a retired Customs Officer and Commissioner of Water Resources in Sokoto State called for the anti-graft laws to be reviewed.
According to him, the bill which restricts the head of the anti-graft to security agency to police officers simply empowers them to pursue individuals or groups accused of pilfering public funds.
Yabo said, “more has to be done through a review of EFCC laws if there must be an end to the impunity with which these acts are committed.
“When reviewed to expand the scope of the anti-graft agency, it will become easy to block leakages with corruption through enhancement of operational laws of the regulatory agencies,” he told NAN.
NAN reports that the bill by Raji, who represents Epe Federal Constituency has passed through the first reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill when amended will provide for persons eligible to hold office to be either a Judge of superior court of record in Nigeria or person of proven integrity in the public or private sector.