The pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Malam Nuhu Ribadu has urged the Senate to reconsider its stance on the workings of the commission in the interest of national development and success of the anti-corruption efforts of the present administration.
He was speaking at an anti-corruption town hall meeting tagged “A spanner in the wheel of corruption” organised by the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation and MacArthur Foundation Monday in Abuja.
Apparently referring to the face-off on the confirmation of the acting chairman of the EFCC Ibrahim Magu, Ribadu said the commission has done fairly well in the endeavour and that its head should enjoy Constitutional independence like the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the DG of Department of State Services (DSS) and Chief of Army Staff among others.
He also urged other anti-corruption agencies like the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) the police and judiciary to wake up from their slumber.
“The high number of corruption cases in the country is probably bigger than cases in all African countries put together. The EFCC alone has over 3800 ongoing corruption cases in the courts, not to talk of other cases. They (EFCC) have done fairly well. You need to see what these people go through to get one case to court. It is hell. Because some people will do everything possible to make sure you don’t drag them to court,” Ribadu said.
He however expressed concern on the near zero conviction of the cases saying the judiciary and all Nigerians must work to stamp corruption in the country.
Speaking on the “Roles of Accountability Actors” the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Mr Waziri Adio said corruption has become integrated in the nation’s psyche so much that it is being seen as ‘bloodless sin’ which is not taken serious as expected despite its resulting in deaths and other negative effects.
He also cited Robert Klitgaard’s ‘corruption formula’C = M + D – A (Corruption equals monopoly plus discretion minus accountability) and urged Nigerians to demand accountably at all levels of private and public governance lives.
The Director Public Policy Initiative of the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation Mr Amara Nwakpa corruption is one of Nigeria’s most serious governance challenges as it affects public finances, business investment and standard of living.
“Today’s performance, ‘The Wheel’, written in 1989 by late Ken Saro Wiwa reminds us that in the past three decades, despite strong government rhetoric, nothing significant has changed. No matter how tough the stance is at inauguration, successive administrations eventually succumb to their own brand of corruption,” Nwakpa said.