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Senate praise for EFCC on convictions

28 February 2014, 07:51Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption has commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for convictions it secured in the past year.
Chairman of the Committee Senator, Victor Lar, gave the commendation during 2014 Budget defence by the anti-graft agency at the Senate in Abuja.  

Lar said the record convictions in 2013 was significant the face of the erroneous perceptions by some persons that the Commission was not doing much.

“The 117 convictions is a very good record. We hope that the Commission will put in more efforts,” he said.

He said the National Assembly had resolved to work with the Commission to make it more effective.

“We are ready to work with your Commission to amend the laws. Probably to insert a provision so that a percentage of money recovered can be ploughed back into the operations of the Commission. These things are not done by board resolution, they are legislative activities. Maybe will need to repeat that we are ready to work with the Commission to see how we can amend and improve the enabling act to enhance your capabilities to deliver on your mandate,” he said.

The Senate Committee chairman also commended the Commission for its decorous and civil media strategy as against the past when people were tried and convicted in the media.

“Fortunately the incidence of media trial is going down,” Lar said.

He challenged the Commission to look into the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) where several billions of dollars are alleged to be missing.

Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, who presented a budget estimate of N21 billion for 2014 as against the N10.2 billion approved by the Budget Office, reaffirmed the independence of the EFCC, citing the prosecution of sons of prominent leaders of the ruling political party as evidence.

“We are prosecuting the sons of Bamanga Tukur, the immediate past chairman of PDP and the son of Ahmadu Ali, also a former chairman of PDP in the subsidy case,” he said.

He assured the Senate Committee members that the Commission will look into the NNPC issue at the appropriate time, adding that it was important for the senate to be allowed to conclude its investigation.
 The EFCC boss assured the Committee members that the Commission would not rest on its laurels as it is set to secure more convictions in 2014.

“By the rate will are going, we are looking at securing 150 convictions in 2014, already we have secured 30 Convictions in the months of January and February 2014,” Lamorde said.

– CAJ News.

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