The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, has called for the support and cooperation of Nigerians in the fight against corruption, stating that “the job of fighting corruption should not be left only to statutory organisations”.
He stated that the Commission had been deploying the social media platforms to reach the public, adding that the fight against corruption could not be fought only by traditional model of public enlightenment.
He spoke on Tuesday, December 9, at this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day organised by Inter-Agency Task Team, IATT, at the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja, with the theme: “Break the Corruption Chain”.
December 9, every year, has been set aside globally to raise awareness and restate commitment to the fight against corruption.
The anti-graft Czar further stated that stated that the Commission had developed a state-of-the-art forensic laboratory, which deals with all types of analysis in the fight against corruption.
“We have trained a lot of analysts and financial crimes investigators who specialize in modern techniques of identifying frauds,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr. Ledum Mitee, chairman of Inter-Agency Task Team, IATT, emphasized the need to empower the anti-corruption institutions with the necessary resources to confront corruption.
Citing the Jakarta Principles for Anti-Corruption, which include remuneration, authority over human resources, adequate and reliable resources as well as financial autonomy, he expressed doubt that the anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria meet the standards.
According to him, if Nigeria was to make significant progress on developmental issues, it must break the corruption chain so as to reduce corruption to the minimum.
He also called for the effective implementation of laws at all levels of governance without fear or favour. “Not only must there be no sacred cows and the culture of impunity wiped out, but the replication of anti-corruption measures and institutions at the sub-national levels must be seen as a priority,” he said.
Bala Sanga, representative from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, emphasized that corruption had the capability to lead to weak governance, which in turn could fuel organised crimes, including human trafficking, money laundering, terrorism and other forms of criminality.
Sanga, while pledging the support of UNODC to eliminate corruption, added that the UNODC had just started the implementation of 34.5 million Euro project funded by the European Union to assist anti-corruption agencies, the police, the judiciary and civil society organizations.
Mr. Obunike Olaegbu of Public Complaints Commission advised the EFCC, ICPC and other anti-corruption agencies to do more in the area of enlightenment and sensitization of the public on the ills of corruption.
Also, Mr. Kolade Omoyola, representative from the Code of Conduct Bureau, urged Nigerians to declare their assets, stating that the Bureau was doing its best to break the chain of corruption through Public enlightenment.
Mr Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, who gave the key note address, charged leaders who are nonchalant about fighting corruption to have a rethink.
“I don’t congratulate people on erecting buildings, but I ask what they have done to build our values,” he said.
The highlight of the commemorative event was the unveiling of the Inter-faith Anti- Corruption Manuals, which are a teaching aid for both Christians and Muslims.
In his remark titled “We Can Fight Corruption with Religion”, Lamorde said: “The public unveiling of the Inter-faith Manuals is only one stage in a long process that also includes the training of those who are expected to put it to use-the faith leaders, women and youths. Along with the committee, the Commission will organise workshops in the six geo-political zones, using the manuals to build relevant local capacity critical for an effective war on corruption.”
Other agencies represented at the event were Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Technical Unit on Governance and Anti Corruption Reform and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, among others.
In attendance were top personalities, including the Emir of Suleja, Alhaji Aawal Ibrahim, Chairman of IAAC, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede and ArchBishop John Praise Danile, Secretary, IAAC, among others.