Monday, 3 April 2017

20-Year Jail Term For Financial Crimes - House Of Representatives

The House of Representatives wants persons convicted of economic and financial crimes to be jailed for 20 years.
This is part of the details of the new amendments to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004, which The PUNCH obtained on Sunday.

The Act currently prescribes a penalty of “not less than two years” for economic and financial crimes.

Lawmakers consider this to be “lenient” for the serious crime of stealing public money or other forms of financial crimes.

Four consolidated bills before the House are seeking to further empower the EFCC to fight crime, insulate the anti-graft agency from interference by the Presidency and enhance its financial autonomy.

One of the bills, which was sponsored by a member from Cross River State, Mr. Bassey Ewa, proposes to raise the two-year term for economic and financial crimes offenders to 20 years.

In the new bill, Section 18 of the Principal Act is amended to prescribe tougher punishments for economic and financial crimes.

The new subsection (C) reads: “All convicted persons shall serve an imprisonment of a term not less than 20 years and have their ill-gotten property, accounts or investment confiscated by the government.”

The new proposal also states that plea bargaining or returning the full amount stolen does not exclude the convict from penalty.

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