The Anti-corruption Coalition said this in its assessment of 90days of President Buhari in office especially in the areas of war against corruption and insurgency.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, speaking un-behalf of the coalition asserted, “Looking at the activities of the Present President in the last 90 days we can say that the present president, Muhammadu Buhari has started well, when compared with those who had come before him especially from 1999, who didn’t do as much as it’s happening now.
Though the President has not really done anything on his own; it is his body language and the pronouncements he made with assurances that he was going to fight corrupt public officials hands down that has been working for him.
However, it is expected that the present regime would have achieved more within the past 90days, we still believe a lot can still happen within the next ten days that will make his first 100days in office, during which his covenant could be reviewed. We believed that he is going to make good, parts of the covenants he voluntarily entered with Nigerian people during his electioneering and shortly after before he was sworn-in”.
Talking about presidential assets declaration, the group said “we also believe that he is going to make declaration of his assets public because it is one of the non-prosecutorial ways of declaring preventive war against corruption and it is a way an anti-corruption leader should set the necessary example”.
“His promise was that he is going to make his assets declaration public and cause everybody that wanted to work with him to do the same. Up till now we are not sure that his assets declaration form is yet a public affair”.
According to the statement, the Coalition affirmed that, “we also know that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) doesn’t have the power to make asset declaration details public; it only the declarant that has the power to make it public; except when one requires and applies for it under the law that established the Code of Conduct Bureau. We therefore suggest that the law should be amended to make it possible for the Bureau to make assets declaration of public servants public. So if Buhari has not done that, he has done a little wrong thing”.
Speaking further, Adeniran said “that a number of public exposed persons who are now being prosecuted is not yet directly the President’s making; it is the suspended cases from the previous regime that are being brought to the fore-front and because there is a new criminal procedure for prosecution that makes it expedient for every lawyer to be weary of what applications he makes that will not be deemed to be frivolous or bid to waste the time of the court, that have made the court to expedite actions in adjudicating into matters that had to do with corruption”.
Also, the group further said, “that Buhari has said and make pronouncements that all former ministers and everybody that worked with the past regime will be subject of a holistic probe, is also a step in the right direction that has sent all the agencies that has to do with it on their toes to start doing preliminary activities that will lead to the eventual probe of those who participated in past regimes. A number of revelations coming to the fore are also part and parcel of the body language and pronouncements of the present President.
The Coalition also asserted that anti-corruption agencies believe that if the trend continues, it will go a long way in ensuring that corruption criminals don’t go scot free “saying, the body language of the present President alone have made most of those who perpetrate corruption to take heed; they don’t want to perpetrate corruption with impunity and “that is why a lot of people can now say public power supply is now relatively stable more stable, generators are now silent and not being over-used as before, refineries have started running one way or the other which means that there will be increase in supply of refined product for domestic use; a lot of work is also going on in other areas like exploration of solid minerals and activities of Federal Inland Revenue services; all the revenue agencies and corporations are now remitting what they make in quantum that is more than what it used to be.
“Basically, the personality of the president and the comportment of the vice president have shown that this regime is out for anti-corruption business and nobody is feeling as free as before to commit corruption crime.
The Coalition affirmed that they are still asking the government and the leadership of the government not to allow corrupt elements within their own political class to overwhelm them with corruptive tendencies because they would want to convince them that certain areas should be left un-touched and that should not be allowed. “The President, Vice-President and other members of their cabinet should demonstrate the change they preach”. Adeniran advised on behalf of CACOL.
“Government should ensure that members of the National Assembly are not allowed to get away with any criminal activities; whether they committed it before they get to the office or the commit it when they are in office.
On the possible frustration of government effort by the National Assembly, the group said, “Everybody that has corruption charges against them should be made to face the law earlier than other persons that are not in government.
Those who have been charged should go and answer to the charges of corruption against them, for those that are being investigated, due diligent and speedy investigation should be carried out before they are allowed to continue to make law for us otherwise, they will use powers within their ambit to frustrate the effort to get corrupt element in the society prosecuted. It is therefore imperative on government to use its power to ensure that the bad eggs within who had found their way into the National Assembly are wiped out”.
The group further advised Buhari’s government that “Everybody that want to work with the government should go to court to swear to affidavit for not have been an agent of corrupt element or for not have been accused of corruption crimes before; the same thing should apply to corporate organizations that want to take contracts from government, they should swear to affidavit that they have not encouraged corruption, money laundering, and allied crimes like financing of terrorism; they should give evidence that they haven’t engaged in shady deals earlier and anyone of them that is found wanting should be black-listed. There are several other integrity-conscious corporate bodies and firms to be engaged in execution of such programs and projects; this is the only way we can extrude corruption in our climes”. The statement concluded.
Source: Universal Reporters.