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World anti- corruption day: NBA calls for reform of EFCC, ICPC


NBA President Abubakar Mahmoud

NBA President Abubakar Mahmoud

President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), has called for an immediate reform of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), as well as, other anti-graft agencies for effective and efficient performance.
In a statement to mark this year’s International Anti-corruption Day in Abuja, Mahmoud stated that the alledged corruption of public office holders has led to loss of confidence in the Nigerian State by its citizens.
He added that on the international scene, Nigeria has been blacklisted as a state in which integrity and transparency were alien and where no transactions occur without gratifications.
The NBA president said: “It is regrettable that in spite of all the efforts to combat the menace of corruption, Nigeria is still rated very low in the annual anti-corruption index of Transparency International.
“In view of the fact that anti-corruption crusade is part of our public interest programme, especially at the bar and bench, NBA is calling for urgent structural, legal and institutional reforms of EFCC for greater efficiency, “ he said.
Mahmoud added that while NBA commends the current efforts to fight corruption, it has noted that the prevailing legal and institutional framework were defective in structure and in substance.
“To combat corruption successfully, a combination of strong legal and ethical framework and the presence of effective institutions are important for success.
“We further recommend that the mechanisms for investigation and prosecution of alledged corrupt people must be restructured and strengthened.       
“We note with grave concern that the current anti-corruption crusade seems to be much more focused on fighting corruption after it has occurred but not much attention is paid to preventive measures with a view to minimizing the incidence of corruption.
“We strongly believe that prevention must equally be robust and effective. The current system is not sufficiently robust to prevent corruption from occurring within the public service system.
“We call on the Federal Government to initiate measures that seek to prevent corruption from occurring, in addition to the fight after corruption has occurred,” he said.

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