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Senator wants corruption ‘legalised and liberalised’

By Tonye Bakare, Online Editor
25 January 2017   |   3:32 pm
A Nigerian senator has asked the country's senate to legalise corruption, in spite of it being one of the major problems confronting one of Africa's largest economy.

A Nigerian senator has asked the country’s senate to legalise corruption, in spite of it being one of the major problems confronting one of Africa’s largest economies.

Senator Yele Omogunwa (APC-Ondo South) spoke during plenary on Wednesday while contributing to the upper chamber’s debate on the 2017 budget.

Noting that pass federal budgets have had little or no impacts on the Nigerian people because of pervasive corruption, the senator stated that legalising and liberalising it would be better.

Omogunwa was elected a senator on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) but defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in November 2016, a party that kicked out PDP from the centre owing, in part, to its campaign promise to stamp out corruption.

But President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption drive has left many dissatisfied. On Tuesday, Senator Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna Central) accused the president of being selective in his anti-graft campaign. The president, earlier this week, showed support for two of his top officials accused of corruption.

By clearing the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal and the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu of all allegations levelled against them by the Senate, Senator Sani said Buhari had prepared “a funeral service of the anti-corruption war”.

Sani was the chairman of the ad hoc committee that investigated and indicted the SGF.

“It is unfortunate that we have a political atmosphere where you have a saintly and angelic presidency and a devilish and evil society. We must in every respect fight corruption within the kitchen as we do in the veranda; if we don’t do that, then we are being hypocritical,” he said.