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Nigerian Lawmakers, Police, Judges Are Most Corrupt —Transparency International, NASS Kicks |RN

Nigeria’s national assembly housing both the Senate and the House of the Representtatives

**National Assembly kicks

Transparency International has released a survey showing that the police, legislature and the judiciary are among the most corrupt institutions in Nigeria.

The TI, in the publication of the 10th edition of the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa, on Thursday, said corruption in African countries was hindering economic, political and social development.

In Nigeria, the organisation partnered Practical Sampling International for the survey, sampling 1,600 people from April 26 to May 10, 2017.

The data showed that the police topped the list of most corrupt institutions in the country at 69 per cent, followed by ‘Members of Parliament’ (60) and local government officials (55).

Others were government officials (54), judges and magistrates (51), business executives (44), presidency (43), non-governmental organisations (40), traditional leaders (35) and religious leaders (20).

The survey indicated that 47 per cent public service users had paid a bribe to the police in the previous 12 months, while 44 per cent had contributed to overall bribery rate in that period.

Others were IDs (38), utilities (34), public schools (32), public clinics and health centres (20).

Asked if the government was doing a good or bad job of fighting corruption, 59 per cent indicated ‘good’, 40 per cent said ‘bad’ and one per cent said ‘don’t know.’

On whether ordinary people could make a difference in the fight against corruption, 54 per cent said ‘yes’, 41 per cent said ‘no’, four per cent said ‘neither yes nor no’, and one per cent did not know or refused to answer.

The survey added that 43 per cent thought corruption increased in the previous 12 months.

TI said, “Corruption is a major barrier to economic growth, good governance and basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech or citizens’ right to hold governments to account. More than this, corruption affects the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

“The 10th edition of the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa reveals that, while most people in Africa feel corruption increased in their country, a majority also feel optimistic that they, as citizens, can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

“The report also found more than one in four people who accessed public services, such as health care and education, paid a bribe in the previous year. This is equivalent to approximately 130 million citizens in the 35 countries surveyed.”

According to TI, the survey is the largest, most detailed survey of citizens’ views on corruption and their direct experiences of bribery in Africa, incorporating the views of more than 47,000 citizens from 35 countries across Africa.”

In their separate reactions, groups including the Coalition Against Corruption, a Yoruba group, Afenifere, supported the TI, saying the report was a true reflection of Nigeria.

The founder/Chief Executive Officer of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, told one of our correspondents that the outcome of the survey was not surprising.

Adeniran stated that recent events in the judiciary and police had shown that the level of corruption in the country was alarming.

He said, “It is obvious; even from our experience, the police, the customs and the judiciary are the cesspools of procedural corruption in Nigeria. You don’t get anything free out of those institutions. We don’t need Transparency International to tell us.

The CACOL boss criticised the practices of policemen, who popularly declare that bail is free.

He added, “Just this week, the commissioner of police in Lagos says those policemen that take bribes before they grant bail are worse than kidnappers. We also know that they hold people hostage; they go raiding people without evidence that such people raided have committed any offence.

“They get them detained, asking them to call their relatives to bail them and that bail is like a ransom that they take for their hostages.

“When you look at customs, too, you can’t clear any goods, even officially, at the ports without greasing the palms of several customs officials. All the smuggling that has been experienced in Nigeria is with the connivance of these people and several companies are not paying excise duties because some of these customs officials have reached out to them to ask for gratification.”

The Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, also decried the level of corruption in the country, adding that the report was an accurate reflection of the reality of governance.

Odumakin said, “What that means is that the government in Nigeria is about corruption.

I think the report cannot be faulted because every now and then, we hear of stories of stealing and corruption from all these institutions but the bottom line is that corruption is the defining act of governance in Nigeria at the moment.

“After four years of fighting corruption, we are at number 44. That tells you how endemic and deep-rooted corruption is in Nigeria. It is the foundation and the building block on which everything rests and that is why we have to address it holistically in this country.”

Reacting to the TI report, Deputy Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability, Mr Kolawole Oludare, said the report confirmed that the fight against corruption had yet to be won in Nigeria.

He said, “This again confirms that the fight against corruption has yet to be won. This shouldn’t be an indictment though. More work needs to be done by all – government and citizens.”

But in their separate reactions, both chambers of the National Assembly faulted the report.

The House of Representatives dismissed the allegations as lacking details to prove the corruption claim. A member of the ad hoc committee on media and public affairs, Mr Bamidele Salam, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone, argued that the TI report mentioned ‘parliament’ and not ‘National Assembly,’ stressing that state Houses of Assembly could also be referred to as ‘parliament.’

Salam, however, said, “We cannot take issue with TI, they are a respected organisation and they have their own methods and means of assessing institutions and organisations, some of which may not be very applicable to all systems. But I must say that wherever there are issues about corruption and transparency, they provide an opportunity for institutions to self-examine.

“So, if there are specifics that TI is bringing up – specific areas where they believe that there is no transparency or there are corrupt practices, then it will be easier for the parliament to look inwards and see what can be done to improve on its rating in that regard. In the absence of specifics, it will be difficult to just give a blanket judgment or comment about corruption. It is very easy to say that. And the specifics have to be measurable. They have to let us know what particular areas of the operations of the parliament have tendencies of corruption, so that we can then do internal assessment and if need be, cleanse it.”

The Chairman, Senate ad hoc commitee on media and public affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, said the report of the TI was based on perception.

He said the opinion did not represent the reality on the ground because no scientific investigation was carried out by the body before arriving at its conclusion.

He said, “The TI report was merely the opinion expressed by some people out of all population of over 200 million citizens of this country.

“They did not use any scientific method neither did they carry out any forensic investigation.”

He said the 9th Senate was doing everything possible to change the negative perception of the people towards the parliament.

He insisted that the parliament as an institution was not corrupt and that Nigerians would soon know the importance of parliamentarians through the 9th National Assembly.

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EFCC Seizes Saraki’s Houses, Marks Others In Lagos|The Republican News

BukolaSaraki
 
 
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has seized Senate President Bukola Saraki’s houses as they also marked others. Bukola Saraki’s houses seized by the EFCC are reportedly located at 15a, 15b and 17 MacDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. It was gathered that the EFCC who were unsure of the actual property that belonged to the Senate President, decided to place inscriptions and stickers on all of them.
 
According to insiders, 15a and 15b were declared by Saraki in his asset declaration form, it is believed that some other houses on the street were bought by the Senate President from the Presidential Implementation Committee for the Sales of Government Property through shell companies. A relative who spoke to Sunday Punch on condition of anonymity said;
 
“The EFCC had been making inquiries into the finances and assets of Saraki for quite some time. They came to inscribe ‘EFCC, Under Investigation’ in red on the walls and the fences. The irony is that even houses that don’t belong to Saraki were marked. From what we were told, they are keeping him under strict surveillance ahead of May 29, 2019 when they may invite him.”  
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BREAKING (Video): CCT Convicts Onnoghen, Sacks Him AS CJN, Bans Him From Holding Office For 10 yrs

Onnoghen-Danladi1

CCT Chairman Umar Danladi and Ex-CJN Walter Onnoghen

The embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has convicted suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, accused of false and non-declaration of assets.

The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, while giving judgement in the case on Thursday, held that the prosecution had proven the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Umar held that Onnoghen is convicted as follows:

  • Removed from office as CJN and Chairman of NJC
  • Banned from holding office for the period of 10 years
  • The money in the 5 accounts that the defendant has failed to declare be confiscated, seized and forfeited to the FGN as it is proven that the money was gotten illegally and the defendant has not provided any evidence of how he got them.

Before his punishments were read to him, the tribunal gave opportunity for allocutus.

However, counsel to Onnoghen, Okon Efut (SAN), said the defence had nothing to say.

When tribunal asked Onnoghen if he has anything to say, he said “My Lord, I don’t”.

Details later…

(Daily Trust)

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Buhari Will Tackle Corruption ‘Frontally’ In His Second Term – Lai Mohammed

Lai-Mohammed

Minister Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

 
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has assured the international community that President Muhammadu Buhari’s new administration will be more determined in the fight against corruption.
 
Mr Mohammed, who gave the assurance in Washington D.C., in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), said the president will not compromise his anti-corruption programmes and policies.
 
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the minister is in Washington to engage international media and think tank, promote and reiterate the successes of President Buhari’s administration.
 
In the interview anchored in English by Aliyu Mustapha of the VOA Hausa service, the minister said that the anti-corruption fight would be frontal in the agenda of the government “because corruption is one of the major causes of poverty and underdevelopment in the country.”
 
He recalled a saying by President Buhari that “if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us’ and reiterated the government’s commitment to the fight.
 
“The president is committed to the fight against corruption and the administration will continue with it.
 
“For example, the Treasury Single Account has instituted accountability in government‘s earnings and spendings and the whistleblower policy has led to the recovery of billions of naira.
 
“It takes more than four years to clean a country endemic in corruption. However, it is on record that this administration has driven corruption under the carpet in four years.
 
“In the next four years, therefore, the government will consolidate on the achievements recorded particularly in the fight against corruption,” he said.
 
Pervasive Insecurity
 
Speaking on insecurity, the minister said that the administration would apply multi-dimensional approach besides deployment of forces.
 
He said the government was not unaware of other remote causes of the crises in the affected areas including economic and social reasons, non-inclusiveness, lack of infrastructure and job opportunities.
 
The minister noted that the administration had performed well in addressing insecurity and the country is safer than it was in 2015.
 
Specifically, he said the government had successfully secured the entire territory of the country from the Boko Haram while the farmers/herdsmen clash in Benue had been curtailed.
 
Mr Mohammed said the fight against banditry, killings and banditry in Zamfara and Kaduna has “been put under control” in the last two weeks because of the synergy among the security forces.
 
He assured that the government will continue to strengthen partnership on the regional and international levels in addressing the challenges.
 
The minister also said that the administration has made progress in economic recovery with deliberate programmers of diversifying the economy through agriculture and other sectors, as well as developing infrastructure.
 
Well deserved electoral victory
 
Speaking on the general elections, the minister said President Buhari’s victory was well deserved and represented “the triumph of the ordinary Nigerians over the elite”.
 
He said having delivered on his electoral promises, the people voted for Mr Buhari and he won the elections fairly and squarely, with about four million votes.
 
He also said with the wide margin of winning, the government did not envisage “any attempt to delegitimise the will of the people”.
 
Mr Buhari’s main challenger at the polls, Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic Party is already in court seeking to upturn the outcome of the elections.

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CJN: What Will Happen If Buhari Rejects Onnoghen’s Resignation – Clarke |RN

Walter-Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, Justice Walter Onnoghen

 

By Fikayo Olowolagba

 

Chief Robert Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against rejecting resignation of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

DAILY POST recalls that the lawyer to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), disclosed that his client took the decision in the interest of the judiciary.

Speaking on the development, Clarke on Channels Tv on Sunday blamed Onnoghen for his present predicament, adding that a petition by the EFCC should have warranted Onnoghen’s resignation since February.

He further noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government should be given credit for taking the head of the judiciary to a tribunal but warned that a rejection of Onnoghen’s resignation will ‘create heat wave in Nigeria politics’.

Clarke said, “The government has knowledge of many things which you and I don’t have, so if the government decided to go and take the head of the judiciary to a tribunal, give them credit that they know what they were doing.

“What has created the situation that he (the CJN) has found himself today is the petition written by EFCC. That petition, he had a copy of it in February

“As at February, the CJN was aware of those charges labeled against him, at that stage when he got the EFCC’s petition, he should have resigned.

“The politicizing of the situation stopped Onnoghen from doing the needful at the time.

“Let me be honest with you, we should not allow the politics or the political climate to be overheated. I will advise Buhari as President of Nigeria to accept the resignation because if he does not do so, he is creating another heatwave in the politics of the country.”       (Daily Post)

 

 

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Buhari Runs A Government With No Direction, Says Financial Times London |RN

Buhari-on-microphone

President Muhammadu Buhari

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

The Financial Times of London says President Muhammadu Buhari has been running a government that lacks a clear direction in the last four years.

The respected newspaper therefore called on the President to see his re-election as an opportunity to do the right thing.

The Financial Times said this in its editorial which has been read and shared thousands of times around the world.

It said there was no clear economic policy like that of Rwanda and Ethiopia.

It read in part, “With his renewed mandate, it is now Mr Buhari’s task to rebuild faith by running a dynamic and successful administration and by building the institutions that can lay firmer foundations than in his previous term.

“The omens from his first four years in office are not good. During that time, the former military leader ran a lacklustre administration with no obvious sense of direction. There was no coherent economic strategy of the sort being attempted by the likes of Ethiopia, Rwanda or west African neighbours Ghana and Senegal to produce the rapid growth needed to haul tens of millions of people out of poverty. It is an indictment of its leadership — both military and democratic — that the continent’s biggest oil producer should have more people living in absolute poverty than any other country in the world.”

FT advised the President to appoint more technocrats in his second term who can help turn things around.

The newspaper said the anti-corruption war must be more holistic and less selective.

FT added, “Mr Buhari’s priority this time must be to set out a coherent agenda, implemented by technocrats rather than ideologues, to turn things around. Nigeria desperately needs to create a level playing field for business in which access to foreign currency, permits, and other requirements is both predictable and rational.

“His much-vaunted crackdown on corruption must go beyond taking action against a few minor officials. Some big scalps would help. More important still is to implement systematic changes — whether by reforming institutions, using technology or by removing arbitrage opportunities — to create a more transparent environment. People should prosper in Nigeria based on what they know and how much value and employment they can create, not by their connections.”    (Punch)

 

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Supreme Court Affirms Interim Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s $8.4m |RN

 

The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed the appeal filed by the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan regarding the forfeited sum of $8.4m.

The apex court upheld the decisions of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal and affirmed an order of interim forfeiture made by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court

The decision was contained in a unanimous judgment reached by the five-man bench of the apex court led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad.

Other members of the panel include Justices Muhammad, John Okoro, Eko, and Sidi Bage.

The court also rejected Jonathan’s prayer to strike down the provisions of section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act and other Fraud related offences Act, which was relied on by the Federal High Court to issue the order of interim forfeiture.

Ruling, Justice Kumai Aka’ahs, in the lead judgment of the apex court, read by Justice Ejembi Eko, said:

“I do not find any reason to interfere with the decision of the lower court”.

“Appellant is to go back to the trial court (the Federal High Court) to show cause why the interim order should not be made permanent,” he added.

The EFCC had last year approached the Federal High Court in Lagos with an ex parte application seeking the forfeiture of the sum of $8,435,788.84 and other various sums in various bank accounts linked to the wife of the former President.  (ElombahNews)

 

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