Our governance is at it again. The controversy of all is the move to quell corruption. It is disheartening to find out how we mean corruption whereas our politicians in power disguise it. For politicians in this nation, somebody appears corrupt when he is poke-nosing. When he become whistleblower; hence requires intimidation to suppress. These politicians in authority could go extra miles to quench, maim or even kill, to sustain legitimacy and remain in power.
It is remarkable that when ex-President Obasanjo was addressing the National Executive Council meeting of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year; prior to the meeting, the party’s apparatchiks had been mounting pressure on the ex-President, pointing out to him that the former EFCC boss, Ribadu was out to decimate their organization by beaming his anti-corruption searchlight into the activities of PDP governors and other officials. In the view of these custodians of PDP values (whatever these values are), by making the symbols of the party targets of his anti-corruption war, Ribadu is aiming at the jugular of the party itself. The matter becomes more curious when some of the governors that were not given an anti-corruption clean bill of health by Ribadu happen to be those perceived to be the good boys of Aso Rock. In fact, the curiosity is more on the part of those who hitherto have been accusing Ribadu of targeting the political enemies of the President. If those regarded as having political proximity to Aso Rock are now said to be under prosecution or have even been indicted as some are wont to say, then the EFCC should be watched closely.
Today, the EFCC among other Anti-Corruption/Antigraft agencies has turned into a debating club having failed to come up with fruitful decisions on any issue despite repeated meetings since its formation some years ago. The agencies are yet to finalize its rules of business, make necessary rules and prepare its organogram, thus remaining practically inoperative even after 1000 days of its formation.
Ever since antiquity, corruption has been one of the most widespread and insidious of social evils. When it involves public officials and elected representatives, it is inimical to the administration of public affairs. Since the end of the 19th century, it has also been seen as a major threat in the private sphere, undermining the trust and confidence which are necessary for the maintenance and development of sustainable economic and social relations. It is estimated that hundreds of billions of Naira are paid in bribes every year.
This Nation exists to uphold and further pluralist democracy, human rights and the rule of law and has taken a lead in fighting corruption as it poses a threat to the very foundations of these core values. As it is emphasized in criminal justice, corruption threatens the rule of law, democracy and human rights, undermines good governance, fairness and social justice, distorts competition, hinders economic development and endangers the stability of democratic institutions and the moral foundations of society.
The approach of this nation in the fight against corruption has always been multidisciplinary and consists of three interrelated elements: the setting of European norms and standards, monitoring of compliance with the standards and capacity building offered to individual countries and regions, through technical co-operation programmes.
Following the reshuffling of the EFCC earlier this year, the commission has held several meeting with a sounding-real agenda but could not come up with any concrete decision. The agenda discussed on the bench, in the bedroom and inside the executive chambers but no specific decision has been taken excepting that of sending letters to the finance ministry asking it to release funds for engaging a legal expert to frame the draft rules.
The new agenda would have included rules of business of the commission, appointment of a secretary to the commission, appointment of a legal consultant to frame the draft rules, the draft rules on investigation and inquiry, organogram, the draft rules on appointment and terms of service.
Mr. Larmode; the heads of the commission, however, could not agree on any decision on any of those agenda. The set of draft rules, prepared by the justice Minister and Attorney-General Of the Federation, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa, on appointment and terms of service of the sanctioned 36 posts, was discussed at the meeting. It is no longer a hidden fact that the symbol of equity in
The Attorney General’s latest antics call the role of non-governmental organisations who claim to be the conscience of our nation into question. Such affront on our nation’s intelligence must not go unchallenged. The Nigeria Labour Congress and other civil society organisations should immediately mobilise their members in order to frustrate the prevailing ignominious posturing by the Yar’Adua government and counter every attempt to protect those accused of looting our nation. Aondoakaa and his boss should stop hiding their pro-corruption stance behind legal technicalities.
Though the AGF might parade a whole lot of supposed good intentions, Nigerians know that the masses are on the receiving end of the judicial stick being handed out by the learned man from Tiv land; precedent cases of corrupt office holders who were jailed shows that there is much behind the judicial abracadabra we see than meets the eyes. The case of the former governor of
If really the AGF has good intentions like he is pretending in a rather macho fashion, why can’t he start from his constituency: the judiciary where he is very conversant with? Why can’t he start from the several arms of his ministry that are not functional and in deep need of salvation? Unlike corrupt judges who hand out injunctions as if they were pancakes. Why can’t he take on the inhuman condition in the prison system which has more inmates awaiting trial than those convicted? And does he not know about the police which have a scandal of their equipment funding attached to them at the moment.
In a rather curious insult on the intelligence of Nigerians, Aondoakaa claimed that allowing the
Mindful of the fact that President Yar’Adua had earlier directed the Attorney-General and all relevant anti-graft agencies, particularly the EFCC, to cooperate with
The Attorney General’s latest antics call the role of non-governmental organizations who claim to be the conscience of our nation into question. Such affront on our nation’s intelligence must not go unchallenged. The Nigeria Labour Congress and other civil society organizations should immediately mobilize their members in order to frustrate the prevailing ignominious posturing by this government and counter every attempt to protect those accused of looting our nation. Aondoakaa and his boss should stop hiding their pro-corruption stance behind legal technicalities.
We have developed a number of multifaceted legal instruments dealing with matters such as the criminalization of corruption in the public and private sectors, liability and compensation for damage caused by corruption, conduct of public officials and the financing of political parties. These instruments are aimed at improving the capacity of States to fight corruption domestically as well as at international level. The monitoring of compliance with these standards is entrusted to the nation against Corruption
If ethical governance is narrowly defined as the constant attempts by governments to legitimize themselves through the establishment of a transparent and honest leadership, the battle against corruption is one of the major indicators of shaping it. Other indicators, deeply rooted in the cherished concept of the rule of law, embrace the emphasis on accountability and transparency, media scrutiny on the government, and the moral behaviour of political leaders and politicians. Due to lack of such rules, the commission cannot recruit its necessary staffers, nor screen the staffers of the Anti-Corruption Commission who are deemed fit for regulation in its service.