Saturday, 16 April 2016

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War on corruption: open the doors so we can see

By: Unknown On: 13:53
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  • One of the leading civil society groups in Nigeria, The New Nigeria Group held a press conference in solidarity to the march against corruption, access to justice and fair trials, autonomy of the different arms of government, accountability and transparency of public officials both serving and past to add boost to the actions of another strong and passionately motivated civil society group Save Nigeria Group, who launched an important anti-corruption campaign that goes to the root of efforts to retake the country from the grip of corruption in public governance.

    The significance of the current campaign by the New Nigeria group and the Save Nigeria Group lies in the fact that unlike the current government effort it is neither discriminatory nor is it selective.

    Relying on the Freedom of Information Act, the Groups are asking the Code of Conduct Bureau to release the asset declaration forms of some serving and past elected and appointed government officials many of whom Save Nigeria Group says it has received corruption complaints against. Prominent on the list include many from whom Nigerians would like to know their wealth and its sources. The list includes: Mallam El Rufia, Theordore Orji, Samuel Ortom, Ali Modu Sherriff, Abudulahi Adamu Adams Oshimole Rabiu Kwankwaso, Chibuike Amaechi, Babatunde Fashola, Aminu Tambuwal, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Aliyu Wamakko, Godswill Akpabio, Kashim Shettima to name just a few. The letter making the request containing over a 100 names demonstrates the seriousness that Nigerians should attach to this effort. Instead of choosing whose asset declaration we should see, Nigerians through SNG are saying bring them all.

    It is clear that a public release of this information would assist the fight against corruption in Nigeria. It will also show if indeed there is no corruption in the fight against corruption. It is only when these assets declaration forms of these persons are made public can Nigerians be a good position to believe that the current governments’ fight against corruption is not corruption itself.

    The question that is to be asked is why has the government failed to do this on it’s own without the prompting of Save Nigeria Group. Who are the people that the Government is shielding, and why do they choose who and who not to harass about assets declaration and dubious persecutions through the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The right of Nigerians to know that their leaders are upright should not be subjected to politics of are you in my camp and you are not in my camp. Nigerians eagerly await the response of the Code of Conduct and the government in this just anti-corruption crusade.

    Without this approach our corruption fighting institutions will be doomed as they would unwittingly become tools for settling political scores and instrumentality of oppression. SNG demand is a charge of accountability which we all must embrace. Nigeria must adopt “a no person left behind” approach in tackling corruption.  Justice in any given circumstance is when like cases are treated alike. We as Nigerians owe ourselves the duty of preserving our hard worn democracy

    See their petition to the Code Of Conduct Tribunal and a video of their press conference as covered by AIT below




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