By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA-With Nigeria ranking 148 of 180 in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2017, Nigerians have been called upon to support the government’s efforts in preventing and combating corruption.
This call, was made by the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre(CISLAC), Auwal Musa, on Friday in Abuja, at the preliminary launch/presentation of Findings of Nigeria’s Country Report on the implementation of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption(AUCPCC).
Nigeria in 2006, ratified the African Union Convention for preventing and Combating Corruption(AUCPCC)-an instrument which has become a shared roadmap for states to implement governance and anti-corruption policies and systems domestically and jointly at continental level.
The Report launched, is part of an intervention being undertaken by 10 African countries, which is, “Towards Enforcement of Africa’s Commitments against Corruption, TEA-CAC”.
Musa, noted that it is important for Nigerians to do everything possible to support government to enforce the convention, so as to reduce the level of poverty, unemployment, irregular migration and other social issues bedeviling Nigeria.
According to him, “I will like to see how all of us will continue to support government to fight corruption, not in a selective manner that will send wrong signal, but in a manner that will ensure that anyone who violates the law will be sanctioned, to show sincerity in the fight against corruption.
“If you look at the level of money laundering and looting going on in Africa, Nigeria is contributing five percent to the Illicit Financial Flow (IFF), there is need to support African leaders to combat corruption and it is important to look at the legal framework available to fight corruption”, he said.
He added, that CISLAC is supporting the good effort of government to ensure that the AUCPCC is properly implemented and enforced, and expressed hopes that the study will help to create the necessary awareness needed.
Also, the Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami SAN, represented by Barr. Eunice Bassey, while noting that corruption is affecting the country in a negative way, pointed out, that the Federal Ministry of Justice is open to every contribution, in an effort to bring the situation under control.
“If people are brought to Court, found guilty and sentenced to prison no matter their level in the society, this will go a long way to fight corruption”, Barr. Bassey remarked.
On his part, the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Ibrahim Magu who was represented by Michael Kayang, said that as a country playing a lead role in the fight against corruption, Nigeria must get it right by showing commitments.
He further remarked, that the launch of the report is important to Nigeria, noting however, that the EFCC will continue to give its best effort in any way possible, to support CISLAC even as they support the government
The report which focused on Articles 5, 7,8,10 and 12 of the AUCPCC, applauded the government’s efforts in putting mechanisms in place, but called for greater enforcement, strengthening of the instruments available as well as popularizing the Convention, in order to fully tackle corruption in Nigeria.