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CISLAC, 49 Other CSOs Condemn Corruption, Attack On Anti-Corruption Agencies

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By Lawal Aminu

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and a group of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working to promote good governance in Nigeria, had raised concerns about the rate of corruption and attack on the anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of the CSOs on Thursday in Abuja, the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), said that the fight against corruption and malicious attacks on anti-corruption agencies is a serious matter that cannot be overlooked..

The CSOs said some elements are being sponsored to discredit the war against corruption while some government agencies and personnel are being used to scuttle the fight against graft.

They added that corruption had for long posed a significant obstacle to the country’s capacity to develop.

“To effectively combat corruption and make significant strides towards progress, it is crucial to adopt a cohesive strategy that addresses all elements that support Nigeria’s growing corruption system.” They said

“To truly establish a flourishing democracy, transparency and accountability must be strictly adhered to in governance. This requires holding politicians accountable for their actions and inactions, strengthening institutions to combat corruption, and ensuring that the allocation of resources is done in a fair and equitable manner”. CISLAC, 49 Other CSOs Condemn Corruption, Attack On Anti-Corruption Agencies

The groups, who said youths have been recruited to undermine the corruption war, said undermining the sub-national anti-corruption bodies is uncalled for.

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The groups lamented that Nigerians have witnessed many situations where courts have granted injunctions which deterred anti-corruption agencies from inviting and prosecuting corrupt government officials and politically exposed persons

“Growing concerns over the declining levels of autonomy and integrity of the judiciary must be addressed. The National Judicial Council must diligently monitor its members and promptly remove any corrupt judicial officer found to be compromising the judicial system, they urged

“Nigerians have witnessed with alarm numerous cases featuring a high number of foreign enablers from Switzerland, Monaco, Panama, British Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom (UK) facilitating corruption. Enablers from the UK are particularly strongly linked to Nigerian cases. Of course, Nigeria also has a number of domestic enablers involved in cases. Out of 87 enablers captured, 5 enablers are from Nigeria: 3 lawyers/law firms and 2 real estate agents. This is due to cases involving, for example, Nigerian lawyers managing trusts on behalf of their clients that are then used to move funds abroad

“We urge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties to take decisive action in purging its ranks by denouncing and breaking support with their members who are currently being investigated by anti-corruption agencies.

They implored that adequate resource allocation to the Anti-corruption Agencies becomes imperative to uphold their independence and enhance efficiency in the anti-corruption process.

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“It is essential to prioritise adequate funding and support for anti-corruption agencies to prevent corruption and promote accountability,“ the groups said.

According to the CSOs, religious leaders have a unique platform to influence their followers and promote ethical behaviour.

They can use their sermons, teachings, and religious texts to emphasize the importance of honesty, transparency, and accountability in all aspects of life. Community leaders, such as local government officials, traditional chiefs, and grassroots activists play a vital role in combating corruption,“ the CSOs said while urging the Inspector General of Police to promptly reinstate the police personnel withdrawn from the Kano State Anti-Corruption Commission, to facilitate the effective execution of the commission’s duties. CISLAC, 49 Other CSOs Condemn Corruption, Attack On Anti-Corruption Agencies

They warned that Nigeria Police must avoid actions that may portray it as being submissive to politicians.

They advocated that budgetary allocations to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Nigeria Police, among others are inadequate. Poor resource allocation is a calculated attempt to gradually push these agencies towards extinction. By limiting their resources, the government is effectively crippling their ability to function effectively and independently

Among the CSOs are Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP), BudgIT Foundation, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), State of the Union (SOTU), Tax Justice and Governance Platform, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Women in Media Communication Initiative (WIM), Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC), Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Accountability Lab, Nigeria, Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), Say NO Campaign – Nigeria, Femi Falana Chamber, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Good Governance Team, 21st Century Community Empowerment for Youth Initiative, OCCEN-Kano and Mothers and Marginalised Advocacy Centre (MAMA Centre).

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Others are Social Action, Centre for Transparency Watch, West Africa Civil Society Forum WASCSOF, Global Rights, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), Partners West Africa, Order Paper, Say No Campaign, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA), Center for Fiscal Transparency and Public Integrity, Amnesty International Nigeria, RULAAC – Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, Connected Development (CODE), Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT), Praxis, CLEEN Foundation, Spaces for Change, Abuja School of Social and Political Thought, Yiaga Africa, Policy Alert, Socio Economic Research and Development Centre, Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative, Media Rights Agenda, Media Initiative For Transparency In Extractive Industries (MITEI) and Centre for Social Justice.

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