CSOs call for massive support for anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria

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By Perpetua Onuegbu

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in collaboration with other Civil Society groups have called for holistic  support for anti-corruption agencies in the country to end corruption.

They said this at a news conference to discuss the state of corruption and malicious attacks on Anti Corruption institutions in Nigeria both at the national and sub national levels on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Anwal Musa, the Executive Director, CISLAC, said there was the need to support the efforts of anti corruption agencies at grassroot and national level so that Nigeria could  have peace.

“We have observed with great concern, the malicious attacks and deliberate efforts to blackmail anti-corruption agencies through sponsorship influencers, incentivised opinion publications in some national dailies.

“Online and electronic platforms, all targeted at discouraging anti-corruption efforts and shielding the kleptocrats from thorough investigation.

“The pattern is clear, there is an unfolding plot of surreptitious moves to backpedal on the progress made by anti-corruption progress.

“Procurement of political appointments by some suspected or investigated looters who are serving under the current administration as ministers, legislators, or occupying leadership positions of the ruling party,” he said.
Musa added: “Has exposed anti-corruption work to serious setback and deliberate sabotage that cripple the efficiency of the anti-corruption agencies.

“So the fight against corruption is for all of us, it is for all Nigerians because the consequences has led us to the situation we have found our selves today.”

Prof. Jubril Ibrahim, Senior Partner, Centre for Democracy and Development said corruption in the country had reached an alarming stage.

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Ibrahim said that the judiciary that was supposed to checkmate corruption had been bought over by enablers of corruption and increased corruption through bribery of judges.

“There has been consented war by corrupt people  to make sure that anti corruption agencies are unable to prosecute corrupt individuals and preventing such institutions from carrying out their mandate.

“We feel if we allow this destruction of the Nigerian state to continue we will not have a country and the risk is that the present tragedy of anarchy will prevail.

“We must stop this level of corruption form continuing to grow if we must survive as a country,” he said.

The Country  Director, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Mr Odeh Friday, said there was need to set up ethics and integrity department in every MDA to build public  trust.

He also called for the implementation of the Whistle Blowing Act to protect whistle blowers from been attacked by those they expose.

Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, said upholding the rule of law was key to fighting corruption.

“Attacks on institutions that have the mandate of defending our democracy should not be encouraged,  it is reprehensible, unacceptable .

“When we attack these institutions especially when they act to advance public interest we are undermining trust and the rule of law,” he said.

The Convener, Good Governance (GGT) Team, Mr Tunde Salman said that the fight against corruption should be citizen driven and not government driven.

Salman said there was need to capacitate those agencies of government  that have the mandate to investigate corruption, adding that special attention should be given to them and technology should be deployed to reduce human interference.

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The CSOs recommended that the National Judicial Council must diligently monitor its members and promptly remove any corrupt judicial officer found to be compromising the judicial system.

“This requires holding politicians accountable for their actions and inactions, strengthening institutions to combat corruption, and ensuring that the allocation of resources is done in a fair and equitable manner.

“We urge the ruling All-Progressive Party (APC) and other political parties to take decisive action in purging its ranks by denouncing and breaking support with their members who are currently being investigated by anti-corruption agencies.

“Adequate resource allocation to the anti-corruption agencies has become imperative to uphold their independence and enhance efficiency in the anti-corruption process.

“We urge I-G to promptly reinstate the police personnel withdrawn from the Kano State Anti-Corruption Commission, to facilitate the effective execution of Commission’s duties,” they said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the news conference was jointly endorsed by 50 civil society organisations supporting anti corruption and Good Governance in Nigeria.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

PUO/ABI

 

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