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Social media most common source of information on corruption, survey reveals

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• EFCC rearraigns ex-Lagos speaker, Ikuforiji, aide

A survey released yesterday by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) showed that social media and the Internet are the most common sources of information on corruption. The report, which also indicated that corruption remained a major challenge affecting Nigerians, in spite of government’s much touted commitment to addressing graft, cautioned against social media regulation bill.

The latest report by SERAP titled, “Nigeria: Anti-corruption Social Norms Survey,” was launched in Lagos. Presented by Mwangi Kibathi with discussions from Professor Oladejo Olowu and Dr. Olajumoke Akiode, it was published as part of the organisation’s implementation of the Anti-Corruption in Nigeria (ACORN) project funded with aid from the United Kingdom (UK).

It stressed that social media and the Internet were the most common sources of information on corruption, according to 38 percent and 33 percent of respondents polled. It also showed that social media and the Internet were the most dependable channels to successfully reach majority of Nigerians and influence behavior change.

In contrast, only 9.8 percent and 1.6 percent mentioned religious institutions and traditional rulers, as having greater influence on behavior change.“Traditional leaders have lost their place in guiding society on morals and ethics. Another noteworthy observation made on the diminishing role of the traditional leaders is that some traditional rulers are key political players.

“They influenced elections for politicians who in turn grant them favours. Paying traditional rulers using public money managed by politicians also dilutes their power to stand against corrupt leaders,” it added.The report urged the Federal Government to respect the rule of law and obey court orders to improve the integrity and independence of the judiciary.”

It also called on Government to ensure effective and full enforcement of the Freedom of Information Act to encourage citizens’ access to credible information about the frequency of corruption among public officials and in ministries, departments and agencies.

Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, for allegedly laundering N600m belonging to the House.Ikuforiji and Atoyebi were re-arraigned before Justice Mohmmamed Liman at the Federal High Court, Lagos five years after they were discharged and acquitted of the offence by Justice Ibrahim Buba in 2014.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and the prosecution counsel, Ekele Iheanacho prayed the court that they be remanded in prison custody, but Ikuforiji’s counsel, Dele Adesina (SAN) opposed the application, urging the court not to grant the prosecution’s request.

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