Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Policy Advocacy and Integrity Network Nigeria (PAINN) and other civil society organisations have urged President Bola Tinubu to shelve the planned dissolution of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as it negates the rule of law.
PAINN, Centre for Policy Advocacy and Leadership Development (CPALD) and Northern Patriotic Front (NPF) however appraised the new administration for its policies and programmes since coming into office.
A statement issued on behalf of the groups in Abuja by Mr. Joshua Mesele noted that during a meeting, the present administration was commended in making decisions that have positively impacted the country’s economic base, especially after the official removal of the hydra-headed fuel subsidy regime, which had been a burden on the country’s economy.
Mesele hinted that the administration’s dissolution of most boards and their executive leadership of parastatals, commissions and agencies was commended, just as the constitution of new ones is being keenly awaited.
He however noted that the pronouncement on the dissolution by the president ought not to affect parastatals, agencies and commissions (PAC) whose establishment requires concurrent approval by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to him, “One such PAC that ought not be affected is the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), as the fight against corruption is of a genuine concern, and we as members of the civil society have a duty to safeguard and protect the integrity and independence of such government institutions whose activities should remain wholesome at their management levels.
“After a careful review of the establishment Act, it is abundantly clear that the procedure for dissolving the board when it becomes absolutely necessary, will be in accordance with the provision of Section 3(8) and 3 (10) of the ICPC Act 2000 which states that the chairman or any member of the commission may be removed from office by the president, acting on an address supported by a two-thirds (2/3) majority in the Senate, in the case of inability to discharge their functions due to infirmity of mind or body, any other cause, or misconduct.
“Therefore, we call on the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to ensure that the dissolution by the president does not affect all boards, whose independence is to be protected by the rule of law, and by international best practice. The ICPC Board should be spared in this context.”
He further said that the administration of PBAT has shown enormous respect for the rule of law, and, “we believe such actions must be commended.
“The fight against corruption is real, and it is our duty as members of the Civil Society to ensure strict adherence to the rule of law while guarding our democracy jealously.
“God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Mesele concluded.