Wednesday, November 25, 2020

EFCC wants special anti-corruption courts for speedy trials

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

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By Tordue Salem, Abuja

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Mohammed Abba Umar, has urged the federal government to establish special anti-corruption courts for expedited trial of corruption cases.

Mr. Umar made the lawsuit, while defending the 2021 budget estimate and presenting the 2020 budget performance to the House of Representatives financial crimes committee.

It also revealed that N29,861bn was proposed for the 2021 budget made up of N24,407bn as staff, N3.600bn as overhead and N1.853bn as capital expenditure.

In listing the commission’s challenges, he said that “we need to have special courts to try corruption cases. We also have a lack of personnel and security officers “

He explained that the planned hiring of new staff in 2020 could not be carried out due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Umar informed the Committee that of the N32,694bn allocated for the commission in 2020, N24,999bn were personnel costs, N3,600bn for general expenses and N4.094bn for capital component.

He said that at the end of September 2020, only N25,136bn was released, accounting for 76.88 percent. “Personnel cost, N21.398bn, general expenses, N2.100bn and capital releases, N1.638bn”

The acting president also explained that of the N25.136bn released so far from the appropriation N32.694bn, N18.823bn, which represents 74.88 percent, has been fully used.

He said: “The sum of N24,999bn was allocated as commission staff cost. Of this figure, the sum of N21.397bn representing 86 percent has been released for the payment of salaries and staff allowances on the commission payroll between January and September 2020. The sum of N17.603bn has been used until now at the end of September 2020.

“The sum of N3.600 million was allocated for the general expenses of the commission. Our of this figure, the increase of N2.1bn representing 58.33 percent has been released as of September 2010 to cover general commission expenses. The sum of N1,221bn has been used so far at the end of September 2020.

“The sum of N4.09bn was allocated for the commission’s capital expenditures. Of this figure, the sim of N1.638bn, representing 40 percent, was released at the end of September 2020. The acquisition process for the 2020 allocation is ongoing and the fund will be used as the acquisition process, “he stated.

Earlier, the chairman of the House committee on financial crimes, the Hon. Isa Dutse praised the EFCC for the judicious use of its funds, but asked the acting chairman to provide the committee with details of capital expenditures.

A committee member, Representative Dachung Musa Bagos (PDP-Plateau) also sought to know why the commission has not been able to create offices in all states of the Federation, but still maintains only 15 offices.

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