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HURIWA backs planned war against graft

By Segun Olaniyi, Abuja   |   29 April 2015   |   5:34 am  
Buhari

Buhari

A civil society group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has supported the declaration by the President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari, to investigate the alleged missing $20 billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

But the rights group has however cautioned against selective justice even as it has asked the incoming National Assembly to understudy the Chinese anti-graft model so as to introduce the death penalty as punishment for corruption by government officials and contractors.

Speaking when he received a delegation of All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains from Adamawa State at his campaign head office in Abuja, Buhari said the issue of alleged corruption in the NNPC would not be swept under the carpet once he mounts the saddle on May 29th, 2015.

HURIWA said the decision to probe the supposed missing $20 billion as stated by the President-elect is a welcome recantation or swift reversal of his earlier unpopular decision not to re-open any corruption cases that happened before March 28th 2015.

HURIWA stated thus; “it is not in the place of Mr. President-elect to pick and choose which alleged looter of public fund should be investigated and prosecuted since the criminal provisions of the statutes in operation across Nigeria does not give short term status of limitation for criminal cases.

We urge the President-elect to begin by totally reorganizing the anti-graft institutions by bringing in capable Nigerians of integrity to head them so as to revive the now moribund bodies.”

The rights group said it was wrong that the two anti-graft bodies are dominated by personnel drawn from the Nigeria Police Force. The group therefore tasked the incoming national legislators to be patriotic and introduce radical legislative reforms into the enabling laws setting up both anti-graft bodies (EFCC and ICPC) so as to make them much more vibrant, independent and incorruptible.

HURIWA also wants the position of heads of EFCC and ICPC to be open for election by members of the national parliament and for the removal/dismissal of such anti-graft officials to be subject to stringent legislative approval or national referendum.

On why corruption should be made a capital offence, HURIWA, in the statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, stated that corruption has led to the breakdown of national security and law and order, resulting in the death of thousands of Nigerians killed by armed brigands and terrorists.

“The President-elect must also look into the grand scale corruption in the defence and police sectors, which has exposed Nigeria to international ridicule following the inability of the armed forces to defeat terrorists who have waged war against the country.



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