Corruption investigators need public support, says HEDA~NEWSEXTRA  - NEWS EXTRA ONLINE


Thursday, 5 March 2020

Corruption investigators need public support, says HEDA~NEWSEXTRA 

Uyo Thursday March 5, 2020 Human rights and community based groups in 
Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on Wednesday called for public support 
for anti-graft agencies fighting to track down shady public and private 
officials, a task that has seen some investigators killed or faced with 
death threats.

The groups spoke at the Evaluation of Review of Impacts of Tracing and 
Recovery of illicit Funds and Assets on Beneficiaries held in the 
ancient city. Representatives of the anti-co rruption groups spoke on 
various threats faced by anti-corruption detectives including threats of 
deaths and kidnapping issued to them and their relations.

The event was organized by the Human and Environmental Rights Agenda 
(HEDA Resource Centre) with the support of MacArthur Foundation, Open 
Society Foundation (OSF/OSIWA), TUGAR, National Orientation Agency (NOA) 
and PTCIJ.

The programme was attended by several Community based organisations, 
civil society, media, and labour.

Participants also spoke extensively on how various HEDA trainings across 
the country have strengthened their capacity to track stolen funds and 
illicit assets.

Nigerians were also urged to show solidarity with corruption detectives 
adding that the success of their actions is crucial to lifting Nigeria 
from misery and poverty.

The Chairman, HEDA Resource Centre, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, said Nigeria 
has made progress in the anti-corruption campaign.
He argued that not only at the local level have assets been recovered, 
but also internationally.

“Nigeria is now like a shining light for Africa in the recovery of 
stolen assets. Nigeria started the process of engaging the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation, (FBI) which has led to the recovery of huge 
stolen funds from abroad and arrest of Cyber criminals” Suraju said.

The participants said the human rights community is happy about how EFCC 
has increased pressure on the United Kingdom to repatriate Allison 
Madueke, the former Petroleum Minister, believed to have stolen billions 
of dollars of public funds. They went a step further to congratulate Mr. 
Ibrahim Magu on his recognition by FBI for his achievements in fighting 
cyber crimes.

At the technical session, officials of EFCC, ICPC and the Code of 
Conduct Bureau, (CCB) shared gory experiences of threats and 
intimidation suffered in the cause of investigating corruption related 
cases. The officials who wanted not to be named complained that 
politically exposed persons often threaten to eliminate corruption 
investigators. There have been reports of anti-corruption officials 
killed by suspected agents of corrupt persons.

Other hurdles listed by the officials include the long process 
associated with the trial sessions aided by judicial bureaucracy and 
inadequate data making it difficult to trace stolen assets and political 
influences by elected officials.

“We are frustrated by the judiciary, corrupt judges, lawyers and a civil 
service network that is noted for bad record keeping and stiff neck 
compliance with requests from anti-graft agencies”, an official from one 
of the anti-corruption groups stated.

HEDA Executive Secretary Mr Sulaimon Arigbabu said Nigerians should 
collaborate with anti-graft agencies adding that public support 
automatically provide a form of immunity for anti-corruption detectives.
Other groups who attended the training were Niger-Delta Budget 
Monitoring Group, Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalism among many 

No comments:

Post a comment