ASSIST US IN FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPT TO RESCUE NIGERIA: EFCC; CCB TO HURMA; HEDA, OTHER CSOs – Rights Monitors

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The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC has called on the leadership of the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) among other notable CSOs in Nigeria to assist the body in fight against corruption so as to rescue the entire nation.

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The statement was made by the new Lagos Zonal Commander of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Michael Wetkas at a Anti-Corruption summit in Lagos titled: “Assessing the Fight Against Corruption Under President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration, 2015-2023”, held at the Colossus Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday, Mar 30, 2023.

The summit supported by Mac Arthur Foundation and implemented by a consortium of Civil Society Organisations via HEDA Resource Center had in attendance head of Anti-Corruption Civil Society Organizations, leadership representatives of EFCC, CCB among others.

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The Lagos zonal head of the EFCC who represented the Chairman, Bawa emphasized on the need for Nigerians to support the struggle with constant petitions against suspected public officials.

“I am bold to say that no Agency in Nigeria has performed more than the EFCC so far.
“The EFCC have recently ensured conviction of not less than 3,785 (three thousand seven hundred and eighty five) criminal suspects in just 10 months.
“There is serious need for credible bodies to assist us in the fight against corruption with constant petitions against suspected public officials. You should please not give wrong information to people as regards our work or those in public offices”.

The EFCC head said the body is open to criticism but should be constructive.
“Our office welcome constructive criticism and we appreciate those that do this.
“We as government agents are paid for work done, but you leaders of CSOs act for free and this is highly commendable. You therefore have the responsibility to correct the perception of the general public on the need to make the fight against corruption a collective task”.

While addressing the conference, the representative of the Code of Conduct Bureau CCB, Mrs. Popoola A.K gives kudos to HEDA Resource Centre and HURMA among others for their consistency and furthermore encouraged writing of petition to the office so as to check the conduct of public officials.

The Executive Director of Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak who was a special guest at the event gave assurance of a total and unflinching support of the organization on the task to rescue the nation, especially as the country is moving towards a new democratic regime.

All members of panel of discussants and entire guests agreed on the need to work more with HEDA to promote transparency, accountability, inclusion and responsiveness in governance.
Corruption is generally agreed to have robbed Nigeria of opportunities for development in critical sectors, and indeed a major setback to the development of Nigeria.
There is a concession on HEDA Compendium conclusion that: “Corruption is responsible for political instability, economic underdevelopment, low administrative efficiency, insurgency, forced migration, infrastructural decay and widespread poverty. It is single greatest hindrance to socioeconomic development and it weakens the institutional foundation on which economic growth and development depends”.

Comrade Adeola Soetan in his contribution stress the need for both officials of EFCC and ICPC among other government anti-corruption bodies to openly declare their assets when assuming offices, just like other public officers. Another member of the panel, Mr. Wale Adeoye while emphasizing Nigeria Institutional Corruption problem as major hindrance to socioeconomic development, recalled his experience with Adeola Soetan in Mali where they both witnessed cats; dogs and rats eating in same plate without attacking each other
“This is because the country operate a balance and Corruption free economy under good leadership, where everyone has more than enough provision.”

The Chairman of HEDA Mr. Lanre Suraj finally called on all CSO leaders to defend constitutional governance.

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