From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A Non-Governmental Organization, Youth Development and Moral Rebirth Initiative has commended the Nigerian judiciary under the leadership of Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter onnoghen, for his stand on anti-corruption fight, saying the judiciary has done more than any other arm of government to ensure that corruption is reduced to the minimal in the country.
The National President of the Group, Abdulwasiu Adebayo stated this in a press statement made available to the media in Kaduna yesterday.
He said the effort of the Chief Justice of the Federation to purge corrupt elements out of the judiciary and disciplinary actions taken against some Judges who were found wanting is a welcome development and should be supported by all well-meaning Nigerians. He added that, the setting up of selected courts to try corrupt cases at the same time constituting anti-corruption review and monitoring committee in the Judiciary is a development that should be applauded.
Adebayo further said that the commitment of the three arms of governments at the federal level against corruption is good omen for the socio-economic and political development of the country. According to him, this has been able to check and balance against impunity and corruption.
“However a lot need to be done at state level, in some states, some governors was alleged to have diverted public funds for personal use. State lawmakers have become rubberstamp of the governors.
“People need to rise against corrupt leaders in government if we are to have prosperity in this nation we should embrace anti-corruption value as part of our culture, principle and ideology, we should stop respecting, patronizing, embracing, praising, honouring, celebrating, awarding and emulating corrupt people in our midst.
“With respect to issue of prosecution of corrupt officials, the approach is too cost in terms of money and time with little result to show, millions of Naira may be spent on investigation and trial of a well-known suspect of corruption but at the end of the trial he may declare free of the charge against him.
“Less costly method like plea bargain should be looked into, it has been applied before and it gave 50:50 chance of the looted funds recovery from the suspect instead of losing everything through prosecution.
“Going by the record of looted funds recovered so far through the whistle blower, it is obvious that the policy is also an effective and less costly way of fighting corruption.
“Therefore anti-corruption agencies should demonstrate more sincerity and commitment in whistle blower policy to encourage people to be vigilant and supply them with information on hidden store of corrupt element.
“Government should join hand with Civil Society Organization bring the policy down to the grassroots by way of orientation and sensitization to prevent people from involvement in corruption.”