The odds seem to continually be going against the current Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Faridah Waziri as she looks forward to a renewal of her term of office later this year. If an amendment bill to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) establishment act is eventually passed, the Chair, Faridah Waziri might as well be out of her way out of office. The bill sponsored by Hon. Bassey Ewa (PDP Cross River) seeks to make it compulsory for the Chairman of the EFCC to be a serving or retired Justice of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal.
The bill has already been passed for second reading and if it eventually scales through and the Senate concurs, it means Mrs. Waziri automatically becomes unqualified and her term will not be subject to renewal. Though Mrs. Waziri claimed to have retired as an Assistant Inspector General of Police, it was found out that she only acted as an AIG before her retirement and her substantive rank on retirement was that of a Commissioner of Police.
The bill is also seeking to make it compulsory for all petitioners to the commission to file their petitions under oath, while a special investigative unit will be created within the EFCC, to be headed by a retired Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of police: a position which the current Chairman still remains unqualified for as she was not confirmed as a substantive AIG before she retired.
The debate on the floor of the House obviously revealed that the EFCC Chairperson was already out of favour, especially with the way her commission handles the war against corruption.
It was mentioned in the course of the debate that the EFCC has been reduced to a “tool for witch-hunting people”. The EFCC also came under criticism for the practice of filing hundreds of charges against suspects and eventually ending up without strong convictions.
Mrs. Waziri was nominated in 2007 by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and confirmed by the Senate. Her term therefore expires later this year, though the appointment is renewable after a term of four years.