AGF, Oyebode, Falana, others seek citizens’ participation in fight against corruption
FG commends Commonwealth’s role in anti-graft drive
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); professor of International Law and Jurisprudence, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akin Oyebode and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), have called for citizens’ active participation in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Oyebode, who spoke on “Strategies for Mobilising Mass Action to Demand Anti-Corruption Reforms and an End to Impunity for Grand Corruption in Nigeria” at a roundtable organised by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in collaboration with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Ikeja, Lagos yesterday, insisted that “mass action by the citizens is urgently needed to put pressure on authorities to end impunity for grand corruption in the country.”
He said: “The people must be enlisted in the war against corruption. Nigerians should start anti-corruption clubs in schools and radio jingles should be put in place to fight corruption.”
Malami, represented by his Senior Assistant, Abiodun Aikomo, said: “The disconnect between our prosperity and where we are is corruption. We have to be patriotic; only Nigerians can do something about corruption. To file a paper in court, you have to shake body. Corruption has unfortunately attained legitimacy in Nigeria. We are all encouraging corruption that is killing us.”
Also, Falana said: “We must stop our lawyers from terrorising our courts and judges. We must get our judges to take charge of their courts.
“Religious leaders should stop confusing our people. Our churches and traditional rulers should stop praying for thieves. Let us start asking our legislators how much they are being paid for doing what? Let our churches stop conferring honours on criminals.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has commended the Commonwealth for its role in supporting Nigeria’s fight against corruption.
During a visit to the secretariat’s headquarters in London, a delegation from the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption thanked the Commonwealth for the technical assistance provided to Nigeria for the recovery of the proceeds of crime.
Chairman of the committee, said, Prof. Itse Sagay, said: “The secretariat helped us in the area of non-conviction based asset recovery. We were not properly trained in this area, and didn’t have the ability to recover assets without sending someone to prison, which was becoming increasingly difficult without a conviction.”