BY OSCARLINE ONWUEMENYI
The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has rejected current moves by members of the House of Representatives to remove the Chairman of the EFCC through a bill that would preclude any high-ranking Police officer from the post of Chairman of the anti-corruption agency.
It has instead urged the House of Representatives to strengthen the EFCC and ensure that Special Courts are established for speedy dispensation of corrupt cases rather than dissipate energy on who should head the anti-graft agency.
The CNPP’s position was disclosed in a statement made available yesterday by its Publicity Secretary Mr. Osita Okechukwu.
The House had on Wednesday commenced the move to amend the EFCC Act to exclude all former ex-security officers from being appointed as the chairman of the anti-graft agency on the grounds of what the sponsor of the amendment, Hon Bassey Ewa, claimed that, “ the EFCC has become a political tool against perceived enemies.”
The lawmakers also proposed that only serving or retired Justice of the Supreme Court or that of the Court of Appeal should be eligible for the position.
But the CNPP had faulted the claim of the lawmakers, saying that there was no proof that the retired justice would perform better than ex-officers.
It also stated that what the lawmakers should support was the establishment of Special Court and not the status of who would head the agency.
The CNPP added that the time had come for the House to decisively use its oversight function to accede to the request of the EFCC for the legislation of Special Court which would assist the anti-graft agency in getting quick dispensation of justice.
According to the CNPP, that the development will fastrack the prosecution of corrupt cases that will serve as deterrent to gluttonous public officials and other errant individuals as opposed to the current trend in our regular courts where corruption cases filed by the agency have dragged for years without conviction.
The statement reads in part, “This is the more reason why we join the clamour for the establishment of Special Corruption Courts for speedy and expeditious dispensation of corrupt cases and not the canvass of the House of Representatives for the EFCC to be headed by retired justices.
Special Courts for Corruption will serve better purpose than old justices some of who might be less than clean and have the capacity and courage to deal with corruption cases”.
It also reminded stakeholders that the EFCC under the retired ex-officers had performed better than the ICPC that was headed by retired jurists.”