Again, Senators Block Bill To Merge EFCC, ICPC

A bill seeking to merge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), again, hit a brick wall at the Senate.

It was hurriedly withdrawn following signs of the Senators’ resentment towards it.
Also, the Senate yesterday confirmed? Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. This was sequel to? the debate on the report of the Senator Umaru Dahiru Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

The bill for the merger of the anti-graft agencies was presented for second reading by Senator Ita Solomon Enang, despite its failure to scale through on October 4 at the floor of the upper chamber. He was advised by the Senate President, David Mark to “withdraw, update? and bring it back.”

On his second attempt however, he was forced to withdraw the bill after reactions from other senators? against it. His decision to withdraw the bill was occasioned by the fear that, if it was defeated on the floor of Senate, it would never find its way back to the chambers until after six months.

In his argument however, Sen. Enang said, “the functions conferred on ICPC are inadvertently conferred on EFCC too.

“The structure of their Acts is such that they do the same thing? under different names, heads and corporate organisations. Both agencies were created to do the same thing, but in different wordings,”

He argued that the EFCC Act gave the commission an omnibus jurisdiction over corruption cases that rendered the ICPC ineffective.

As he backed down, Enang who is the Chairman of Senate Committee on Rules and Business promised to reintroduce the bill in future after further legislative consultation with his colleagues.

The Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke had spear-headed the cause for the merger of both agencies on he ground that both agencies have similar functions.