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Senate to give EFCC, ICPC more powers

Posted by From ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on 2008/02/12 | Views: 354 |

Senate to give EFCC, ICPC more powers


The Senate on Tuesday resolved to give more powers to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that offenders are adequately and effectively investigated and subsequently prosecuted.

…Considers Hydroelectric Commission bill

The Senate on Tuesday resolved to give more powers to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that offenders are adequately and effectively investigated and subsequently prosecuted.
The Senate’s decision followed the adoption of the report of the committee that organized its last retreat, which was held between October 28 and November 2 in Port Harcourt last year.

Also, the Senate has resolved to fast track the passage of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) Bill, which has now been slated for third reading, preparatory to subsequent passage. The bill, which, passed by the last Senate, was not assented to by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. It is now being sponsored by Senator Awaisu Kuta.

Deliberating on the recommendations in the report, the Senate specifically resolved to amend the ICPC Act to ensure that the commission, seen as a dog that cannot bite, was strengthened to punish offenders.
Although the initial recommendation said that “there is the need to further amend the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission Act (ICPC) in order to ensure that offenders are effectively investigated and prosecuted,” the Senate, at the end, insisted that there was the need to amend the EFCC Act and all other laws against corruption to show government’s seriousness and resolve to fight graft.

Also, the Senate resolved to embark on what it described as a “progressive amendment of the 1999 Constitution beginning with the less contentious issues as practiced by India and United States of America.”

On the crisis in the Niger Delta, the Senate said the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should be adequately funded to sustain the actualization of the Niger Delta master plan, even as it also noted that there was need to amend the NNDC Act, with a view to ensuring that it was faithfully implemented.

It also resolved to enact a law that would compel the executive arm to implement Senate resolutions that are backed by two third majority.

Meanwhile, the Senate has set machinery in motion to pass a bill for an Act to establish the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Commission. The commission is to be vested with the responsibility of managing the ecological menace arising from the operation of dams that supply electricity to Nigeria.

Explaining the content of the bill, Senator Kuta said: “In the bill, we are asking for 50 per cent of the ecological fund of the host states to fund the commission. The host states are: Niger, Kwara, Kebbi, and Kogi.

“ Similarly, we are also asking for 25 per cent of the revenue accruing to PHCN from the host states to fund the commission.

“As you can see, the bill is a popular one because it is co-sponsored by 42 other senators. The bill was looked at based on its merit.”

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.