Anti-graft war: Governors, legislators, judges are corrupt, says Ex-ICPC boss

By The Citizen

The Former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, yesterday said Nigeria is operating governments of corruption.

Akanbi, who was also a former president of the Court of Appeal, at a public lecture in Ilorin, Kwara State declared that corruption has taken over the soul of governments at all levels, even as he passed a damming verdict on anti-corruption agencies in the country.

The retired eminent jurist spoke on the theme: 'Corruption - The Bane of Our Society', organised by Amicus International Club.

His words: 'Speaking for myself, I ask myself this question: Does it mean all the governors in Nigeria are corrupt-free, does it mean all the legislators are corruption-free; does it mean the judiciary is corruption free.

'We know that it (corruption) is happening, but people are not being arrested; no action is being taken and the end result is that people accept bribe with impunity now.

'At least if they had taken few people to court, we would have known that something is being done. There is a general lull and the fight against corruption has gone down completely. That is why we are gearing up the tempo now so that people can be aware of it.

'Now when you look at many people wanting to be governors, the question should be; 'is it because they want to serve their people or that they want to go and chop, chop chop?'

'It is apparent that many of them want to enrich themselves because they know that when you go there you make money and become wealthy. Ditto, going to the legislature. Yet, people are suffering, there is no development. There is corruption; kidnapping and the ills of the society have gone on the ascendency.

'Honestly, in terms of these governors, who have been arrested? We know about 'Oduahgate', and the billions of naira that Sanusi alleged that was missing. The terrible thing is that the judiciary is not helping the matter either.

'The indices are that the moments are dark, the clouds have thickened, corruption is escalating. And we cannot pretend. The Transparency International put us at the position of 136 (among) corrupt nations. You cannot deny it, even though it is a perception.

'Honestly, I do not see what is being done about corruption now.'

Also speaking; Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali, SAN, said Nigerians are poor today because of the large scale corruption in the country.

He noted that both the corrupt officials and the general populace shared in the after effects of the cankerworm.

He said: 'Nigeria and Nigerians know that corruption makes all of us poorer in the short and long run. Even for those who are stealing our money, they are poorer. What is the essence of money you have stolen and you cannot display?

'Whatever you have acquired with which you build houses outside of Nigeria and you are not proud to tell people you have built such houses and you buy big cars and keep them as if they are items of antiquity.

'The saddest aspect is that when you take these monies out of Nigeria, you are mal-nourishing our economy and nourishing the economies of the countries that are already nourished.

'It is a no-win situation for those who are corrupt, those who condone it and the rest of us.'

Alli said the present Federal Government had not fared better in the fight against corruption either.

He said: 'I have said this long time ago. No drive against corruption by the current government and that is quite obvious because the president believes that there is no corruption in Nigeria.

'He believes that what is going on is petty stealing. So if he doesn't believe there is corruption, you can't hold him for not driving any anti-corruption war. If somebody doesn't believe there is a problem then he would not be obliged to look for solution.' - National Mirror.