The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission have rejected proposal in the ongoing amendment of Administration of Criminal Justice Act to submit case file of a matter to the Attorney-General of the Federation and exposing whistle blower.
The Senate, in the amendment of ACJA, had proposed that a case file must be submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation by the agencies.
But, Chairman of EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, kicked against the provision in the bill while appearing before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters chaired by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele during public hearing on the bill to amend Administration of Criminal Justice Act and six other bills.
EFCC said the provision would constitute undue interference by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation who is a political appointee.
The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation is a political appointee, according to the EFCC, thus the provision would amount to undue interference.
“This will constitute undue interference by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, who is also the Minister of Justice and a political appointee, in the work of the law enforcement agencies,” the EFCC stated in the document that was provided.
The ICPC chairman’s representative, Prof. Bolaji Owosanoye, added that the organization backed all of the EFCC’s arguments in the bill’s revision.
The anti-graft agencies also objected to a provision that allows an ex parte order to freeze an account that is the subject of an investigation for a period of 14 days, claiming that this provision is unnecessary because it would obstruct the investigation agencies’ work and prevent the freezing of accounts that contain criminal proceeds.
Bamidele stated in his opening statement that the law aimed to create the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Council, which would be comparable to the Bureau of Justice in the United States of America and the London Criminal Justice Board in other countries.
Similarly to the Bureau of Justice in the United States of America and the London Criminal Justice Board, he continued, “The Bill also proposes to establish the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Council as available in other jurisdictions.
In order to improve outcomes through active partnership and to provide a fair, efficient, and effective criminal justice service in Nigeria.
The Chairman further stated that before presenting the report to the Senate, the whole document presented by the various stakeholders would be carefully reviewed.
Senator Orji Kalu proposed the legislation in December 2021, and the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters received it.