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Improve anti-graft agencies’ funding, CSOs urge Tinubu


A coalition of 30 civil society organisations has asked President Bola Tinubu to improve funding for anti-graft agencies in the country as well as amend the enabling acts of the agencies.

The groups also urged the President to direct the investigation of publicly exposed persons named in the Pandora, Panama and Paradise papers, and to ensure that those found guilty are made to face the full wrath of the law.

The Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Auwal Rafsanjani, who spoke on behalf of the coalition at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, noted that some of the challenges affecting the anti-graft agencies included a slow judicial process.

Others, he said, were low reporting of corrupt practices by citizens due to mistrust in the system, a lack of whistle-blower and witness protection laws to protect whistleblowers, and a lack of funding for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.

“We recommend improved funding for ICPC and Code of Conduct Bureau as well as review by the National Assembly of the provisions of the Acts establishing the ICPC, EFCC, and Code of Conduct Bureau regarding the mode of appointment of the Chairman and other key laws used to prosecute cases to enable these institutions carry out their mandate effectively and independently, without undue influence.

“In amending the enabling Acts of the anti-corruption agencies, we suggest security of tenure for heads of these agencies.

“Investigation of all public officers and politically exposed persons named in the Pandora Papers, Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, Genko scandal, and FinCEN Files while those found guilty be made to face the full wrath of the law as a deterrent to others.”

Rafsanjani also charged the President to take steps to ensure judicial independence, by ensuring the institutionalisation of real financial autonomy for the judiciary.

“President Tinubu should take concrete steps to foster great judicial independence by institutionalizing real financial autonomy for the judiciary, which currently depends on disbursements that are often delayed by the executive.”

The groups faulted the President’s seeming non-concern for the anti-corruption fight, adding that “Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not seem to have the issue of anti-corruption as a priority on his agenda, despite the fact that corruption has eaten deeper into every sector of our society and is crippling the country like an epidemic”.

Although the groups commended the previous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for championing the anti-corruption fight, they faulted lapses in the frameworks and institutions created, noting that they “resulted in the ineffectiveness or, in some cases, the failure of these legal frameworks, anti-corruption institutions and initiatives”.

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