Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that he will tackle corruption in Nigeria the same way he tackled and reduced corruption in the Lagos state Judiciary when he was the commissioner of justice in the state.
He made this statement during a talk-shop organized in Abuja by Office of the Vice-President in contribution to the national dialogue on corruption.
Daily Post reports that Osinbajo said that corruption in the Lagos State Judiciary dropped to zero percent following the sack of 22 corrupt magistrates and three judges, and by drastic improvement in welfare.
Osinbajo said he once met an honest judge who retired after 10 years on the Bench but lived in someone’s boys quarters because he had no house.
He said a judge’s salary of N67,000 then could not build a house. To reverse the trend, every judge was given a house for life, while their remuneration was increased “considerably”, to the extent that Lagos became a reference point.
He said: “It was because a system was in place and impunity was not allowed. It is important that we put in place models that will work.”
“We must work together – the legislature, the judiciary and the executive – to put a model that must work. We must ensure that systems that are put in place are fair and comply with the rule of law.”
He however added that corruption can only be defeated if Nigerians stopped celebrating corrupt people.
Osinbajo also talked about efforts in place to regain stolen funds hidden in foreign countries by corrupt politicians.
He said: “One of the critical issues that we have discovered in our fight against corruption is that we need much more robust international cooperation, especially with respect to return of assets.
“We find that the process of returning assets, aside from the judicial process, is so difficult and so complicated that it could just take you literally years to get assets returned.
“And I think that it is important for countries of the world where stolen assets are located to really work with us in ensuring that these assets are returned speedily. I know that the United Kingdom is working with us in particular on this issue of beneficiary register.
“That will be extremely useful for us because we will now be able to discover who is behind some of the names of companies and other shelves that are used to hide stolen assets.’’
Meanwhile, Osinbajo on Monday, March 6, states at the stakeholders meeting of oil producing communities in Benin, Edo sate, that the elites in the Niger Delta have over the years deprived the people the opportunity to enjoy the benefit of oil in their communities.
He vowed that the Federal Government will henceforth, deal directly with the communities and not with the elites.