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No political will to fight corruption—Falana

President of the West African Bar Association (WABA), Femi Falana has said that there was no political will to pursue the present anti-corruption campaign in Nigeria, adding that the rule of law policy of the government was also slowing down the war against corruption.

Falana who spoke at a roundtable on ‘Corruption and Public Service Delivery: The real victims’, organised by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountable Project (SERAP), in Lagos, wondered while a common or poor person is arrested for fraud or stealing, the law is applied to the later, while the powerful or former public officer is arrested for the same offence, the issue of rule of law becomes the norm, instead of such person facing the full weight of the law.

According to him, “you cannot fight corruption hiding under the rule of law. If somebody had stolen money belonging to the people or the nation, you then arrest him over the fraud, later they would be claiming the rule of law. We should stress that rule of law should be equitable and not in a situation, where only the poor is detained, while the Governors and their big associates escape with the connivance of lawyers”.

“We see where the former Governors are charged to court, afterwards, they apply for bail and ask for their passport and travel round the world. The law should be such that no matter how high you maybe in the society, you cannot be above the law.” He added.

Falana who did not hide from the fact that lawyers are part of those who encourage corruption in high places said “lawyers play leading roles in encouragement of corruption in Nigeria. I think it is right for them to also be scolded when situation arises.”

Beside, he said the time is now for the stakeholders to review our laws to reflect the contemporary issues in order to fight corruption successfully in the country.


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