The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wants the national assembly to give it powers to retain seven per cent of all its recoveries from proceeds of crimes.
Represented by the Secretary to the commission, Emmanuel Aremo, at one-day public hearing on four bills on the proposed amendments to the EFCC Act 2004, the EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu, made the following arguments:
- Other countries do the same: The seven percent being proposed to be retained is much less than the amount being retained by anti-graft agencies of other neighbouring African countries, particularly Ghana which retains 30 per cent on a similar situation.
- Ready to make refunds with interest: The commission said that if it turns out that monies it recovers were illegally done, it would return every kobo with interest. The EFCC chairman informed lawmakers that this year alone it has returned over N34 million to crime suspects who were later found to be unwarranted arrests.
The other argument: At the same hearing, a commissioner at the Nigeria Law Reform Commission (NLRC), Prof. Jummai Audi, said the EFCC’s request should not be granted.
She said the EFCC ought to have a comprehensive budget proposal from the outset in such a way that it will not contemplate the use of any confiscated asset or money or resources for its operations.
“It is legally and morally improper to use the proceeds of crime for their operations,” she said.