Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Senate withdraws controversial anti-EFCC motion

THE Senate yesterday in a dramatic U-turn withdrew a controversial motion targeted at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The motion entitled: “Undue dramatisation of the fight against corruption in Nigeria”, was sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North).
The motion specifically lampooned the EFCC for alleged “penchant for undue publicity of its body of evidence at the commencement of investigation.”.
Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan had called Utazi to present his motion.
Utazi is chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes.
All eyes turned to Utazi’s seat only to discover that he had already left the chamber before Lawan called him to lead debate on his motion.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the day’s plenary informed his colleagues that the motion had been withdrawn.
Though no further explanation was offered on why the motion was withdrawn by its sponsor, sources said the leadership of the Senate might have felt uncomfortable with the controversial motion.
One of the sources said the Senate might have thought it unwise to start a fresh showdown with the anti-graft commission.
Utazi noted in the withdrawn motion published in the Order Paper that “EFCC’s approach tends to compromise the strength of the evidence that could be presented to secure conviction in judicial proceedings.
“I am disturbed about the string of losses of corruption and financial crimes-related cases in court in recent past.
“These losses, due mainly to insufficient and sometimes, shoddy investigation and the presentation of inadequate unconvincing body of evidence, has cast a dark cloud on the efforts of the current government to reduce corruption in Nigeria to the barest minimum.
“The recourse of, especially the EFCC in blaming the judiciary whenever it loses its case in court is a failure to acknowledge the commission’s shortcomings in the build-up to each case.”

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