Comrade Debo Adeniran, an anticorruption crusader is the Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL). He spoke with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE
Why is it difficult for the anti-graft agencies to prosecute and convict ex-governors for corruption-related offences? Governors enjoyed immunity and therefore they were able to cover their tracks while in office. The anti-graft agencies are not allowed to investigate governors while in office and because of that a lot of things were swept under the carpet.
The anti-graft agencies must be given independence to investigate governors while in office and the reports should be made public. Even if the anti-graft agencies cannot prosecute them while in office because of immunity, we should have the result of their investigations with which the agencies can prosecute governors when they lose their immunity. Why is it easy for anti-graft agencies to prosecute and convict ‘small thieves’ unlike ex-governors? The ‘small flies’ don’t wield any influence because they don’t have enough money to buy their ways through when they are being prosecuted.
The ‘small flies’ are also open to intimidation, threat and they don’t have money to hire quality lawyers unlike the Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) who have the influence and resources to defend or protect themselves. Why do you think some of the ex governors are not usually convicted by the judiciary?
The Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) usually rely on the judiciary to prevent them from being convicted. Each time the anti-graft agencies make attempt to prosecute some of the former governors, they run to the trial judges who will agree with them and rule that anti-graft agencies don’t have jurisdiction or the judges will give the PEPs opportunity to travel out of the country for medical attention.
The judge would also grant frivolous injunctions and orders after they might have been settled. The judiciary on many occasions have been compromised and we are just hoping that they would be better under the present administration.
SOURCE: New Telegraph.