How To End Corruption In Nigeria – Ex-ICPC Chief

A former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola (rtd), on Thursday listed ways to end corruption in Nigeria.

He said the factors which encourage graft must first be addressed, namely lack of political will and commitment, whittling of the capacity of anti-corruption agencies through denial of resources, inadequate legal framework and citizens’ indifference.

The legal framework, he said, needs reform, adding that the general culture of lawlessness must end for corruption not to thrive.

He spoke in Lagos at the annual lecture of Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors, with the theme: “Anti-Corruption and Bribery Laws: Extra-Territorial Applications and Lessons for Businesses and Government Agencies.”

According to Ayoola, who chaired the event, it is misconceived to think that the only method of bringing corruption to its knees is through the criminal justice option.

He said: “Nigeria must be ready to revise and reform the totality of the legal framework in relation to the fight against corruption to facilitate result-oriented fight and engender inclusive and popular fight.”

The former Supreme Court justice said the government must realise that the modalities of criminality do not remain static.

“As the strategies of criminality become more sophisticated, agencies set up to fight such must keep up with whatever becomes a developing trend,” he said.

To Justice Ayoola, the fight against corruption needs a more holistic and deeply thought-out strategic approach.

He said it must also remain a “running battle” backed by urgent commitment of resources to the fight and steadfastness in the course of the campaign.

He said rather than citizens remaining weak and indifferent to corruption, they must enthusiastically participate in efforts to end graft.

“Nigeria’s perception of the fight against corruption is strong in sentiment and emotion but abysmally weak in action and commitment.

“As long as we, at all levels of society, pay lip service to the fight against corruption, it will take longer to rout it in our nation,” he said.

Justice Ayoola, who is opposed to the merger of ICPC with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (ICPC), said there is nothing wrong with having a “multiplicity” of anti-graft agencies.

The guest speaker, a professor of law at the University of Toronto, Mariana Prado, said having multiple anti-graft agencies, if sustainable, would create competition, lead to collaboration and result in complementarity.

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