Emerging report on Tuesday morning,
indicates that the Senate has declined to approve the $200 million World
Bank loan request for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on
Foreign and Local Debts, Senator Shehu Sani, who is at the centre of the
new controversy, is being accused by some elements in the Presidency of
sitting on the request.
Sani it was gathered, has since the
approval of the loan last year by the Federal Government, been playing
games with officials of the EFCC.
The development it was also learnt, may
further hamper the work of the EFCC, which relies more on such funds for
training, ICT projects, and similar expenditures, that have direct
bearing on the mandate of the Commission.
Post-Nigeria, learnt that the refusal by
the Senate, may be connected with Magu’s continuous stay in office as
the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, despite being rejected twice by the
Upper Legislative Chamber.
Also, the refusal by the Senate to give
priority attention to the loan request, is part of its strategy to send a
clear message to President Muhammadu Buhari, that Magu is illegally
occupying his current position.
Beyond the refusal of the Red Chamber to
consider the loan request, strong indications have also emerged that
the Senate is making a last minute effort to block the 2017 budget of
the EFCC, following the refusal of Magu to step aside.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, it
was gathered, has instructed the Committee Chairman on Appropriation,
Senator Danjuma Goje, and Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption
and Financial Crimes, Chukwuka Utazi, to suspend work on the final copy
of the Commission’s 2017 budget.
With Saraki’s new stance, the EFCC may
be left without a dime to run its operations in 2017. As it stands now,
the EFCC, despite realising billions of naira on behalf of the
government, cannot spend any dime. It depends solely on yearly
appropriation from the National Assembly.