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BILL STOPPING JONATHAN FROM REMOVING EFCC CHAIR DIVIDES HOUSE

By NBF News
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Members of the House of Representatives were divided yesterday over a legislation seeking to remove the powers of sacking chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from President Goodluck Jonathan.

Sponsored by Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, the bill seeks to make the removal of the anti-graft agency's chairman and members of the board from office to be effected only after a vote by at least two-third majority of Senators.

However, shortly after the proposed law was brought up for second reading, Deputy House leader Leo Ogor, opposed it arguing that the EFCC was not listed among the 14 agencies recognised by the 1999 Constitution in section 153 subsection 1.

Rep. Mohammed Wudil (ANPP, Kano)  supported the bill while Patrick Ikhariale (PDP, Edo) and others opposed it.

Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the session, asked Chairman of the Rules and Business Committee, Albert Sam-Tsokwa, to guide the parliament but Tsokwa  said it was a 'knotty constitutional issue that cannot be handled extempore.'

Ihedioha deferred further debates on the legislation and till next week.