Buhari’s whistle-blowing policy product of frustration, says Falana
•Initiative lacks legal backing, Keyamo insists
•Speakers seek protection for whistle-blowers
Renowed human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has described the whistle-blowing policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari government as a product of frustration.
According to him, the initiative, which was launched in December 2016, followed the seeming failure by successive administrations to instill probity in governance, hence the idea of asking a third party to provide sensitive information for a fee.
Speaking yesterday during the 2018 yearly public lecture of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, Falana noted that whistle-blowing had existed since the time of colonialism.
He added that traditional institutions of old deployed the tool effectively, the difference being that no one was compensated unlike the current dispensation.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) submitted that lawyers and accountants were contributing “immensely to corruption,” clarifying that be it the opening of an office, purchase of property and even defence of an accused, you would have either of the two professionals on the horizon.
Falana said the essence of the concept was to encourage transparency, probity and accountability, adding that the policy stands out as the only remarkable ‘success story’ of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.
He regretted that the initiative creates room for substitution and corruption, as the yardstick for the determination of reward remained opaque.
He also sought the protection of the whistle-blowers, arguing that the policy, as it were, does not guarantee the provider of information job and even life security.
To back his fears, Falana listed some supposed victims of the ‘transparency’ idea to include a member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumini Jubril who alleged budget padding at the National Assembly and was axed for the expose.
He also named one Ntia John, an Assistant Director with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Aaron Kaase of the Police Service Commission (PSC) and Murtala Ibrahim who once leaked sensitive information but were either punished with suspension or sack.
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