Ekiti State is poised to inaugurate its own anti-crime agency as a bill to establish “Ekiti State Economic Crimes Commission” has passed the second reading at the state’s House of Assembly.
The bill “Ekiti State Economic Crimes Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2018,” after it was considered at a plenary of the house, was committed to its Committee on Public Accounts and Anti Corruption for further legislative action.
The bill, said to be an executive bill, was submitted to the House of Assembly by the state governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose.
The Leader of Business in the assembly, Mr Olatunji Akinyele, who presented the bill to the house, explained that the bill “sought to curb corruption, embezzlement, fraud, abandoned projects, among others, in the state.”
Other members of the Assembly, including the Chairman House Committee on Information, Dr Samuel Omotoso; Mr Samuel Jeje; Mr Ekundayo Akinleye and Mrs Titilayo Owolabi -Akerele, while speaking on the bill, commended it and noted that it would aid good governance of the state.
They said the bill would halt diversion of funds and eradicate all forms of economic crimes in the state when it was passed and became operational, and therefore canvassed for its speedy passage.
Dr Omotoso noted in his contribution that the Nigerian constitution (as amended) was clear in stating the functions of House of Assembly on the finances of a state.
He condemned what he described as “the incessant harassment of state government officials by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) across the nation,” saying it was gratifying that a recent judgement by a court in Ado Ekiti had called the EFCC to order.
Mrs Owolabi-Akerele remarked in her comments that the eventual passage of the bill “would help to check activities of internet fraudsters, more commonly known as “Yahoo Yahoo” across Ekiti state.”
Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Kola Oluwawole, described the bill as “timely” and stressed that it would “lay a solid foundation as well as improve good governance in Ekiti State.”
Oluwawole, who also noted that the bill would assist government to improve on the “dividend of democracy” to the people, charged the joint committees and other members of the Assembly to work towards achieving a speedy passage of the bill.
He commended Governor Ayodele Fayose for introducing the bill, noting that “only a transparent leader could take such a step.”