10 July 2012

Nigeria: Jonathan Moves to Fight Corruption, Meets Govt Officials

Photo: Vanguard

Abuja — Worried by the pervasive corruption in almost all sectors of the country, President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, convened a meeting of heads of all arms of government to find a common ground to fight corruption

The meeting which was presided over by the president had in attendance, Vice President Namadi Sambo; President of the Senate, David Mark; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher and other principal officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ndoma Egba, who spoke with State House correspondents after the meeting noted that the essence of the meeting which was at the instance of the president was to explore how the three arms of government could pool resources together to tackle corruption.

Senator Ndoma Egba who was flanked by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Anti-corruption, Senator Victor Lar; Hon. Mulikat Akande, Majority Leader, House of Represenatives; Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Hon. Adams Jagaba; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Adoke; Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde and Acting Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Ekpo Ntah, said all parties present at the meeting were concerned about the deteriorating corruption index in the country.

According to him, the move by the president to convene a meeting of arms of government to look at the issue of corruption was a novelty.

Responding to a question on the Femi Otedola/Farouk Lawan corruption saga, the Attorney General of the Federation Mr Mohammed , Adoke said, "the report was not discussed as an issue but assurances were given that as soon as the EFCC finishes its assignment, which is very soon, that you will begin to see prosecution. Probably in the next one week, we will begin to prosecute because the EFCC has gone very far."

He said Nigerians should be rest assured that this is not an issue that will be swept under the carpet. We have gone this far because we want a proper and painstaking investigation done so that when we charge people to court there will be no lapses or loopholes for lawyers to explore".

He said government was reviewing it's strategy on fighting corruption, pointing out that the federal government will soon come out with a "national strategy on the fight against corruption. And that strategy will involve the three arms of government".

"We discussed at length, got insight from each arm of government and we will meet again to review the issues that arose from today's meeting and on the way forward"he said.

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