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FG seeks more powers for EFCC

Posted by By LUCKY NWANKWERE, Abuja on 2006/07/14 | Views: 229 |

FG seeks more powers for EFCC


The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a proposal for the amendment of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2004 which, among others, seeks to accord the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) more powers. It also approved the pursuance of the rehabilitation of teaching hospitals with more vigour.

•Approves rehabilitation of more teaching hospitals

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a proposal for the amendment of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2004 which, among others, seeks to accord the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) more powers. It also approved the pursuance of the rehabilitation of teaching hospitals with more vigour.

If accepted by the National Assembly and passed into law, the new law would confer on the agents of the foremost anti-corruption agency the powers of arrest and search without warrant.

The proposal for the amendment, which is said to be in tune with current legal realities also seeks to reduce life imprisonment to 10 years in jail and 21 years to seven years respectively.
This is one of the major highlights of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting held in Abuja under the chairmanship of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr. Frank Nweke, made these disclosures when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting which was also attended by Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

He said a draft bill in respect of the amendment would soon be forwarded to the National Assembly for its consideration and passage into law, pointing out that the approval was sequel to a memorandum presented to council by the Justice Minister.

"The bill that is going to be forwarded to the National Assembly in respect of this amendment will also confer power of arrest without warrant as well as power of search on officers of the EFCC. In the light of this, the bill for amendment will now be forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration".
Also, the Federal Government would, in the next two weeks, come out with a firm arrangement on the payment of pension arrears totalling N75 billion, following the commencement of talks with a consortium of about six banks to that effect.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Usman, made this disclosure even when he did not disclose the names of the banks.
"What we did was to put together a consortium of banks and we are on verge of tidying up the arrangement and we will soon be signing an agreement with them, so that as we issue the bond, they (banks) will pick up the bond and pay all the pensioners their arrears in cash at no premium whatsoever.

"What we will then do is that over the next three years, we will be paying them some interest and then pay the full amount. I believe that within the next two weeks we should be able to have a firm and concrete arrangement to start paying the pensioners their arrears", she stated.

The FEC also restated its determination to rehabilitate the nation’s teaching hospitals. Following the successful completion of the rehabilitation of eight teaching hospitals, which is being handled by VAMED Engineering Limited, the Federal Government extended it to six other teaching hospitals.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.