Is the new anti-graft agency an EFCC replacement or it’s justifiable?

Abubakar Malami

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday, September 16, through the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, announced the approval of a bill seeking the establishment of a new anti-graft agency, Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency (PCRMA).

The agency will be charged with proper coordination of all recovered looted assets in Nigeria’s fight against corruption.

Following the news, Nigerians took to social media to question the need for a new anti-graft agency. The Independent Corruption Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are the agencies in Nigeria mandate to fight against corruption in Nigeria.

While the ICPC monitors corrupt practices in the public sector – especially bribery, graft, and abuse or misuse of office, the EFCC monitors and investigates people in all sectors appearing to be living above their means, and is also empowered to investigate and prosecute money laundering and other financial crimes.

On Twitter, Nigerians are exclaiming foul play over the news as many sense that this is just another plan to loot more money by a select group of people.

Here are a few reactions:

Here are the hot takes from the news…

The Bill in its entirety: Think of the new agency, PCRMA, as a vault that stores all the recovered the money from other anti-graft agencies. When assets are recovered, they are often scattered in the hands of other agencies. The PCRMA will be charged to coordinate these funds and assets in a centralised system.

The implication of the agency: According to Malami, the agency will stand as a source of transparency and accountability for the government in their fight against corruption. The bill, according to the attorney- general will also encourage international collaboration in recovering more looted assets.

What happens to other anti-graft agencies: The Bill does not seek the scrapping of other agencies. It, however, only seeks to act as a centralised system where recovered assets are accounted for.

Considering Nigeria’s endless battle against corruption, the PCRMA hasn’t been welcomed with opened arms. For many, the federal government need to work with what is available instead of wasting taxpayers funds in fighting corruption. While a centralised system that stands for accountability in the fight against corruption may appear necessary, Nigerians are in their rights to question this one. Ibrahim Magu, the suspended EFCC chairman is still being investigated for corruption in an agency that is charged with fighting corruption. If the PCRMA bill passes, only time will tell if it can deliver with all that it has been decorated with.

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