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Constitutional Amendment Crucial To Combating Corruption

The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, has said that a careful study of the Nigerian Constitution is crucial in designing strategies and policies for combating corruption.

Speaking at a one-day meeting of heads of anti-graft agencies on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Review, Recommendations and the Draft National Anti-Corruption Strategy at Barcelona Hotel, Abuja yesterday, Lamorde stated that some relevant laws in the Nigerian Constitution needed to be amended before the adoption of an action plan towards the fight against corruption. According to him, ‘’The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be considered in whatever strategies being developed.

“The challenge my colleagues and I are facing, especially in the EFCC and ICPC, is the issue of prosecution of corruption and economic and financial crime cases in regular courts.’’ Lamorde, who commended the efforts of the European Union (EU), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other agencies, added that the effectiveness of any anti-graft activity could only be judged by the number of convictions recorded. In his remark, a former Secretary to the EFCC, Emmanuel Akomaye, who spoke on the outcome of the Country Review Report and Follow-up Actions by   National Partners, advocated better inter-agency coordination, building institutional capacity and legal reform.

“All these include making new laws, amending existing ones and improving on the efficiency of adjudication and sanctioning,’’ he said. Also, the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, advocated better funding for anti-graft agencies. The Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr. Joe Abah, said both the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal needed to be strengthened in order to be more effective in the fight against corruption.

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