Judge queries use of public funds to settle politicians
Justice Agwadza William Atedze of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has queried the use of public funds to settle politicians.The judge spoke in Lagos at the launch of an anti-corruption report by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
The report, “Combating Grand Corruption and Impunity in Nigeria: An Agenda for Institutional Reforms in Anti-corruption Strategies,” was in collaboration with the U.S.A’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
He urged SERAP and other civil society groups to conduct research “to reconcile our social and cultural values with the war against corruption and advise our policymakers accordingly.”
The SERAP’s staff Attorney, Joke Fekumo, who presented the report urged support for the anti-corruption fight to achieve economic development and stability.
“The anti-corruption agencies in the country have not met the widespread expectations because of the lack of political will to fight it, the absence of a national anti-graft strategy and inadequate legal frameworks,” she said.
Other anti-graft agencies, which also participated at the launch, pledged their commitment to the anti-corruption fight.Among them were the Head of Procurement and Fraud section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Dauda Joki-Lasisi, and the Head of the Lagos office of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Olufemi Nofiu.
The Chairman of the event and former Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly’s Committee on Judiciary, Babatunde Ogala said: “Corruption is a way of life for us all, because when you steal as a religious institution, you are as corrupt as any other Nigerian.”
He described corruption as both cultural and religious, adding that the best way to “curb it is to change our national orientation on the culture and attitude towards corruption.”Ogala urged the EFCC to locate offices at the local council levels to curb the crime, saying the society was encouraging corruption through its attitude.