18th October, 2011
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, hasÂ reacted to a news item, published in some national newspapers, Â on Monday,Â October 17, 2011,Â quoting the Auditor General of the Federation,Â Mr. Samuel Orkura, to the effect that the CommissionÂ has never submitted â€œits audited accounts to his office in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.”Following the failure of the Auditor General to withdraw the statement 24 hours after it was credited to him, the Commission is left with no option but to issue this public statement denying the allegation and putting the records straight.”Â EFCC said since its inception in 2003, it has never failed to submit its audited accounts to the appropriate government agencies, as stipulated in its Establishment Act, 2004.
Â The Act, in sections 36 and 37, as quoted in a press release issued on Tuesday and signed by Femi Babafemi, EFCC head of media, states inter alia:Â
Â â€œThe Commission shall keep proper accounts in a form, which conformsÂ with accepted commercial standards of its receipts, payments, assets and liabilities and shall submitÂ the accounts annually for auditing by a qualified auditor appointed from the list of auditors and in accordance with the guidelines suppliedÂ by the Auditor-General of the Federation.â€œThe Commission shallÂ not later than 30th September in each year, submit to the National Assembly, a report of its activities during the immediately preceding year and shall include in such report the audited accounts of the Commission.â€œBased on the provisions of these sections ofÂ the EFCC Establishment Act , the Commission has been diligently keeping faith with these requirements.Â “The Act only requires the Commissionâ€™s accounts submitted to external auditors recommended by theÂ AGF for auditing so as to make them ready for submission to the National Assembly and this has been the standard practice since the inception of the Commission.Â â€œSpecifically,Â the EFCC has been submitting its audited accounts to the Senate President, the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes as well as the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives and the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes.â€œNevertheless, when in 2008 the Auditor General requested for copies of the Commissionâ€™s previous financial statements, copies were sent to him accordingly.
In February 2011, the Senate Committee on Public Accounts also wrote to the Commission informing it of the AGFâ€™s complaintÂ that the Commission violatedÂ section 585 of the Constitution by refusing to forward its audited statements to his office.Â â€œIn response, the Commission informed the Committee that all audited accounts had been submitted to the National Assembly and that it was in full compliance with the Constitution and the EFCC Act.â€œÂ We therefore call on the AGF to withdraw the statement credited to him in so far as it concerns the EFCC.â€œWe wish to reiterate the fact that, Â as a responsible law enforcement agency, the EFCC will never fail to comply with statutory regulations and requirements, as it is its culture not only to be law-abiding but to be publicly seen to be so. We remain committed to the observance of the spirit and letter of the rule of law at all times.