NBA Tells Adoke To Halt EFCC/ICPC Merger; Calls For State Police
ABUJA, July 20, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has faulted the planned merger of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN.
The NBA’s position was made public in a communiqué read by the President of the Bar association at the end of its 3-day Criminal Justice Reform Conference in Abuja. Chief Joseph Daudu SAN instead called for the establishment of more anti-graft agencies to assist in the war against corruption and graft.
“The NBA completely disagrees with the position of the AGF for the merger of the two agencies as the nation is inadequately policed. The argument that the two agencies are duplicating functions does not arise as the Acts that established the agencies clearly stipulate their duties. In fact there is even the need to establish more agencies to tackle the cankerworm of corruption.”
Lawyers also called for the decentralisation of the Police Force, prisons, road safety commission, etc so that individual states can establish their own Police departments independent of the federal government.
The NBA therefore charged the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency begin constitutional amendment measures that will lead to the creation of State and Community Police Forces including enabling other reforms in the criminal justice system.
“Time has come for immediate decentralization of key criminal justice institutions such as the Nigeria Police Force, Road Safety Commission, and the Nigerian Prisons Service etc in order to facilitate grass root and indeed comprehensive approach to the enforcement and administration of criminal justice,” Daudu stated.
On the issue of corruption in the judiciary, the NBA called on both state and federal governments to pursue reforms in the criminal justice system so that the institutions in the system will not operate below international standards. It warned that corruption has clogged the capacity of the agencies to operate effectively adding that the system needs a rebirth.