By Umar Muhammad Puma
The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) said it has welcomed the Federal High Court decision to uphold President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order 8 on the seizure of assets suspected to be proceeds of corruption and crime.
CHRICED in a statement issued yesterday by its executive director Ibrahim Zikirullahi, said the development is a massive boost for the anti-corruption crusade, and it is ccming at a time when several naysayers have questioned the legitimacy of the Executive Order 6, and have taken pot shots at the President through thinly veiled allegations of authoritarianism.
“The importance of proactive steps against the monster of corruption has further been reaffirmed. We equally applaud the President’s recent directive to the Attorney General for immediate and full implementation of the Order.
“CHRICED commends Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja for using her revered position on the bench to make a firm pronouncement to strengthen the fight against corruption. CHRICED is of the considered view that with more judicial interventions like these, government would have received the needed support to curb corruption and all forms of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs). Knowing the serious damage corruption and IFFs have done to Nigeria’s developmental aspirations, all efforts towards ridding the system of leakages should be widely commended.
The group lauds the signing by the President of Executive Order 8, tagged the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme (VOARS), which they said will provide some traction for government to put in place a framework, which would ensure offshore assets belonging to Nigerians are properly taxed.
“The Executive Order also comes across as a bulwark against money laundering and other forms of financial crimes. For us, these developments are important because within the limitations of the Nigerian system, the President continues to demonstrate his administration’s commitment towards raising the standards for transparency and accountability.
“As stated in previous interventions on this issue, the administration should take its engagement a step further by sensitizing the everyday citizen, so that he/she can take ownership of the anti-corruption. The revulsion for corruption at the grassroots, is now sure way to sure way to change behaviours at the community level, and also reduce the issue of petty corruption.
The anti-corruption group call on the citizen to back up the government, as it makes efforts towards reducing corruption in Nigeria. “we also make no mistake about the fact that the anti-corruption fight has its weaknesses and even its own contradictions. Notwithstanding, it is clear that the President is doing his best within the current limitations. Ultimately, it is the citizens that would benefit if government is able to tame corruption and seriously reduce its effects.