Anti-Corruption War Must Be Fought Like Jihad – Magu

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has urged Nigerians to support the current administration in the fight against corruption and engage in the fight like a jihad in order to free Nigeria from the grip of the corrupt persons.

Magu said this on Sunday in a lecture he delivered at the 7th convocation and 10th anniversary of the Fountain University, Osogbo in Osun State.

Speaking at the convocation of the university established by NASFAT, the EFCC boss, whose lecture was delivered by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, said just 55 persons stole N1.3tn between 2006 and 2013.

This amount, Magu said, could fund massive infrastructural development in many sectors and could train almost 4,000 children from primary school to university with a budget of N25m for each of them.

Magu said it was disheartening that these few corrupt persons had turned round to wage war against the commission and the administration using various means including the same people they had impoverished.

The EFCC boss said Nigerians should not leave the anti-corruption war to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osunbajo and the commission alone, saying every Nigerian must support the anti-graft war with the aim of winning it.

He said, “This was why I said we owe it to ourselves, it is a jihad for all of us to wage the war against corruption. It is unpatriotic and a shirking of our responsibilities as citizens to fold our arms and leave the fight against corruption to President (Muhammadu) Buhari, Vice-President (Yemi) Osinbajo, the EFCC and a handful of others. We are all stakeholders in the fight against economic and financial crimes; together we can defeat this evil.

“Indeed, corruption could have killed Nigeria if the rate at which corruption was festering then had not been checked. Take for instance, the money stolen by just 55 people between 2006 and 2013 is well over N1.3tn. One third of this money, using the World Bank rates and cost could have comfortably been used to construct 635.15 km of roads; built 183 schools; educate 3,974 children from primary to tertiary education levels at N25.24m per child; built 20, 062 units of 2-bedroomed houses across the country and do even more.

“The cost of this grand theft therefore is that, these roads, schools and houses will never be built and these children will never have access to quality education because a few rapacious individuals had cornered for themselves what would have helped secure the lives of future generations, depriving them of quality education and healthcare, among others.

“But the corrupt, using sponsored people, claim that they are being prosecuted because of the region they came from, the religion they profess, or their ethnic identity. They do their utmost not to answer the all-important question of whether or not they are guilty of the corruption allegations against them.”

Magu stated that the EFCC had recovered N738bn in about two years due to the support of the President and the commitment of the agency to stop corrupt officials from further plunging the nation into underdevelopment.

He said the EFCC was oblivious of the ethnic background or religious belief of corrupt persons when they were being investigated, saying those playing up the ethnic cards were doing so to whip up sentiments in order to go scot-free with their loots.

He, however, said that the EFCC would not relent in its efforts to stop corruption in the country despite the series of brutal attacks launched by the corrupt persons against him and the commission.

But the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, while addressing the gathering, said it would be extremely difficult to tame corruption as long as the nation depended on “unearned fund” from crude oil.

The governor said corruption was not really the main problem of the nation but laziness, stressing that Nigerians would be very vigilant and would stop corrupt persons from stealing their money if the people worked hard to generate fund for the government.

He said so many people did not know the process of extracting crude oil but they depended on proceeds from its sale.

He added that Lagos State with an average internally generated revenue of N41.7bn per month, was the only state that had weaned itself from the dependency on oil money.

Argbesola said, “Is corruption really our main problem? We are largely lazy. To tame corruption in a rent-seeking economy will be very difficult. I am not in anyway antagonising Magu but what I am saying is that a society that depends on rent can hardly eliminate corruption.”

He advised Nigerian youths to use the insult hurled at Nigeria by the United States President, Donald Trump, to spur them into serious work, critical thinking and innovation in order to create jobs and make the country a better place to live in.

Source: PUNCH

EU To Spend N10bn To Fight Corruption In Nigeria

The European Union on Tuesday said it would spend €23.3m (N9.9bn) on a four-year programme that would focus on tackling corruption in Nigeria.

The EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Kurt Cornelis, said this in Abuja during the inauguration of the four-year Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme in Nigeria.

He said, “The European Union is providing €23.3m for the initiative, to be implemented at the federal level and in four states of Adamawa, Anambra, Kano and Lagos. Corruption and an ineffective justice system undermine Nigeria’s effort at economic and social development and fighting poverty.”

Cornelis, who disclosed that the British Council office in Nigeria would implement the programme, said the EU had affirmed its commitment to supporting Nigeria to improve the justice sector and strengthen the fight against corruption through the financing of the programme tagged, RoLAC.

The envoy added, “Criminal justice reform and the fight against corruption are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Corruption is both a cause and driver of poor governance and performance of the criminal justice system.

“At the same time, a strong Nigerian criminal justice sector, able to dispense timely and effective justice would strengthen the fight against corruption, as incentives to engage incorrupt practices are reduced.

“The overall objective is to enhance good governance in Nigeria by contributing to the strengthening of the rule of law and curbing corruption. More specifically, it will target and support: The implementation of the Nigerian criminal justice reform agenda to improve on the timeliness, effectiveness and transparency of the system.”

Other areas the programme will focus on include: Increasing access to justice for women, children and persons with disabilities strengthening the fight against corruption in the criminal justice sector, public procurement and the extractive industries, enhance citizens’ civic and public engagement in criminal justice sector reforms and the fight against corruption

According to RoLAC Programme Director, Dr. Bob Arnot, at the British Council, the approach is not to bring predetermined solutions but to work in collaboration with Nigerian state and non-state actors to develop and implement sustainable initiatives that will build upon and consolidate the successes of the EU’s previous support to Nigeria in the justice and anti-corruption sector under the 10th EDF.

Endorsement By Governors, Top Politicians For Buhari Second Term Are Self Driven – Shehu Sani

By Toba Adedeji
The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani has said that the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari for second term by some governors and top politicians are borne out of selfishness and not patriotism.
The Senator made this known while speaking at the second annual lecture of Rave FM, a private radio station in Osogbo, Osun State.
He maintained that , “None of the APC governors, top chieftains of the party moved for the endorsement of Buhari when he was on medical vacation abroad.
” Their calls were part of agenda to seek second term in office or seek for premeditated cover after vacating their positions of power.
“The endorsement for President Muhammadu Buhari to vie for second term in office were driven by selfish ambitions and not borne out of genuine love and sincerity.
Sani posited that, “The ruling party must know that what destroyed the Peoples Democratic Party was a force from inside and not from outside. Citing Yugoslavia in the old Soviet Union as a relevant example.
“In the ruling party things are not moving fine. What the elite in the ruling class are saying publicly are different from what they are saying privately. Publicly they take flag of endorsement of president second term. The first term serving governor is endorsing president for his second term ticket while the second term serving governor is for him to be protected after office”
“How do you endorse someone who hasn’t expressed interest. This is what can be condemn in politics of PDP.
He argued that, “Lack of internal democracy, imposition detroyed the PDP. The umbrella of the PDP was torn by the internal injustice. The ruling party should be careful. Many people who helped in bringing this administration on board are not being carried along. Now Atiku has left the APC for the PDP. Those that contributed to this government before getting to power were not accorded courtesy”. It is left for Buhari to decide who loves him and who loves the throne.”
He noted that, “For Buhari to be rescued from the claws of cabal, he needs the concerted efforts from all Nigerian regardless of religion, tribe and political parties.
The Senator, who spoke on the topic “Nigeria’s Fight Against Corruption: The Facts, the Fallacies and the Antidote”, contended that, “This government has moved us away from the culture of corruption that was of the past administration but we are not there yet, where we ought to be.”
Their are two political party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Party and People’s Democratic Party, we don’t have a strong opposition in this country because of the moral burden, they carry don’t have a clean hands”.
Also the former president of Nigeria Bar Association, Wole Olanipekun, SAN in interview with journalists after the occasion suggested that government should build institutions economically, as it is he only way to reduce corruption drastically.
According to him, “Let us build institutions economically. Once institutions are built corruption will substantially exercised. We can’t fight corruption when every thing in this country is so centralized. We can’t fight corruption in a system of autocracy because when we look constitution all powers are built around Federal Government. We can’t fight corruption successful in system whereby we have everything in the exclusive legislative list and not on concurrent.
We can’t fight corruption when Federal government is  over weigh and  not ready to share responsibilities. Let us build institutions.

Judge Withdraws From Trial Of Justice Nganjiwa

A Lagos State High Court judge has withdrawn from the trial of a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, following allegations of bias.

Trial Judge, Justice Adedayo Akintoye, today (Wednesday) held that in the interest of justice, she had transferred the case file back to the Administrative Judge of Lagos so it could be re-assigned to another judge.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned Justice Nganjiwa before Justice Akintoye for alleged unlawful enrichment to the tune of $260,000 and N8,650,000 on June 23, 2017.

The commission said the sums did not correspond with the judge’s salary. They also claimed that the judge could not explain the source of the funds.

Justice Nganjiwa, who is attached to the Bayelsa Division of the Federal High Court, was, therefore, arraigned on 14 counts before Justice Akintoye.

The defendant and his lawyer were not present at today’s proceedings but at the last sitting of the court on Nov 13, Mr Robert Clarke, counsel to Justice Nganjiwa told the court that he had written a letter dated November 10, 2017, to the Administrative Judge of the Lagos High Court seeking a transfer of the matter to another judge.

He said he had also filed an application objecting to the trial of his client before the trial judge, Justice Akintoye, and accused the trial judge of bias in favour of the Prosecution.

In the letter which was sighted by newsmen, Mr Clarke said, “The trial judge is presiding over the criminal trial of a Snr Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ricky Tarfa and the counts and facts of the charge against his client, Justice Nganjiwa, are substantially similar to the counts & facts of the charges against the Snr advocate.”

The EFCC had mentioned Mr Ricky Tarfa as one of the lawyers who allegedly bribed Justice Nganjiwa for the purpose of obtaining a favourable outcome in his cases.

In the letter, Justice Nganjiwa asked Justice Akintoye to return his case file to the Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Opeyemi Oke for the purposes of re-assignment to another judge.

In the alternative, he wants an order dismissing the charge on the ground that it constitutes “double jeopardy “especially as the case of Ricky Tarfa, which he referred to as ‘a sister case’ before the same court, contains virtually all the allegations and particulars in this new case”.

The EFCC prosecutor, Mr Wahab Shittu, had described the allegations of bias as an attempt to frustrate the trial.

He said the claims were contentious and should not be entertained by the court.

He also reminded the court of past attempts by the defence team to stall trial and concluded that the allegations of bias are speculative.

Mr Shittu had also argued that there was no way the matter involving Mr Ricky Tarfa can influence Justice Nganjiwa’s matter before the court.

He urged the court to take judicial notice of the fact that Justice Nganjiwa is not on a joint trial with Mr Tarfa in the other case neither is he a witness in the matter.

But Justice Akintoye today decided to hands off the matter. She urged the parties to find out from the court registrar the new judge to whom the case has been re-assigned.