31 January 2013

Nigeria: House, Atiku Call for Stiffer Anti-Corruption Law

The House of Representatives yesterday condemned the last week's judgement of an Abuja High Court which convicted a deputy director in the Police Pension Office, John Yakubu Yusuf, for misappropriating N23 billion, describing it as "mild."

Adopting a motion on the urgent need to revisit the case sponsored by House Minority Whip Rep. Samson Osagie (ACN, Edo) and 9 others, the House urged the EFCC and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, to appeal the judgement.

The legislators also passed another prayer calling on the institution of National Assembly to set machinery in motion to review the provisions of the penal and criminal codes to provide stricter and stiffer punishments for corruption cases.

When the question was put by Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to members after the debate, the House voted in favour of the motion.

In his reaction, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar called on the Federal Government and National Assembly to make the anti-corruption law stiffer to serve the purpose of deterrence against white-collar criminals in the country.

Reacting to the public outrage that greeted the two-year sentence passed on a pension crime convict, Atiku explained that the issue brought to light the major defects of the anti-corruption laws.

Atiku said that "President Obasanjo submitted a stiffer draft law which, however, was watered down by the then National Assembly."

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