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Reps want judges, financial experts to head EFCC

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Femi Gbajabiamila


Treatment of gunshot injury without police clearance

The House of Representatives is pushing for the appointment of highly ranked judicial officers and financial experts to head the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Yesterday, a bill aimed at achieving the goal scaled the second reading at plenary presided over by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.The bill is essentially seeking to amend the Economic and Financial Crime Commission Act, 2004 Cap. E1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to expand the scope of persons eligible for appointment as chairman of the commission and other matters related thereto.

Sponsor of the proposed legislation, Olawale Raji (Lagos: APC) explained that any person with the rank of commissioner of police as is obtainable currently should still be eligible to occupy the seat of chairman of the anti- graft agency.

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Throwing light on the initiative, he said: “The Economic and Financial Crime Commission Act, 2004 Cap. E1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (in this Bill referred to as ‘The Principal Act’ is hereby amended as set out hereunder.

“Section 2 subsection (1) paragraph (a)(ii) of the Principal Act is hereby deleted and the same replaced with a new paragraph to read as follows:
“be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of commissioner of police or equivalent; or a person who has held or eligible to hold office as a judge of a superior court of record in Nigeria; or a person with recognized financial experience and proven integrity either in the public or private sector.”

Also yesterday, the House initiated a move aimed at compelling health workers to treat victims of gunshots without police clearance in the country.The proposed legislation sponsored by Olawale Raji scaled the second reading at plenary.

Raji, who spoke on the general principles of the bill, said it would empower hospitals, both public and private, to treat victims of armed attack aside gunshot injuries without a police clearance and save the victim the agony of being rejected as the case in the country.

The lawmaker said it was unfortunate that due to inadequacy of the extant provision of the law, many innocent victims of dangerous weapons other than firearms had consistently been rejected by the hospitals for want of a police clearance, a situation that had led to their untimely death.

On the benefits of the bill when passed into law, he said: “Constitutionally, every Nigerian has a right to life and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life save in execution of the sentence of a court where such a person has been found to be guilty.

“The intent of the extant law as it is today is to the effect that an innocent victim who sustained a grievous bodily injury from a weapon other than gun/firearm will be deprived medical attention if he/she is without a police clearance. “This outrageous act of the hospitals leading to the death of innocent victims indirectly constitutes a deprivation of their right to be alive.”

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EFCCFemi GbajabiamilaReps
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