Anti-corruption Initiatives

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RANDOM THOTS

Corruption is not new in Nigeria, but fresh approaches, suggestions, initiatives and, ah yes, antidotes are emerging daily to fight against a scourge which has deprived Nigeria of billions of stolen dollars, with a resultant negative impact on national development. While the average angry citizen would rather have exposed looters and indicted corrupt officials sentenced to hanging and all the recovered looted funds seized and forfeited to the government, others have different views.

While the primary anti-corruption agency in Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) relies heavily on tips, intelligence and investigation and prefers to go through the long tedious process of arrest, arraignment and prosecution of suspects (who hire top defence lawyers to frustrate their trials), the National Assembly wants prevention of corruption rather than punishment, in other words stop the crime before it happens. The leadership of the Legislature, who also suggested less fanfare and media trials, have pledged to pass vital legislation like the Whistleblowers Protection Bill and the Proceeds of Crime Bill to help the anti-corruption war.

The Federal Government, on its own part, brought on the novel Whistleblowers policy, a juicy carrot for citizens with sharp eyes, wide, itchy ears and access to inside information on stashed loot, a strategy which is currently working to swell the commonwealth coffers. Lastly, the international agencies and development partners are sponsoring initiatives which also emphasise prevention of corruption among others; although the same agencies have ironically not been able to stop illicit flows of looted funds into their home economies. The bottom line here is that there are several ongoing strategies to fight persistent official corruption in Nigeria. To this reporter, the more the merrier, as long as the war is being won….simple truth

– Abimbola Akosile