By Lucky Oji
Mr Abubakar Yesufu is the National Chairman, League of Patriotic Lawyers. In this interview, he spoke on a number of issues, including ways to tackle corruption in the country.
What are your findings during your working tour of some selected State Assemblies and the National Assembly?
While some State Houses of Assembly are well organised, some demonstrated absolute ignorance in Legislative Bureaucracy. Some libraries were well equipped while others were sterile and unrewarding.
The National Assembly, however, presented a different picture. The morale of staff was high and confidence that was at a distant before the new clerk ascended the seat has been restored.
I was pleasantly surprised at the very show of humility, and total grasp of the machinery of legislature matters displayed by the new clerk, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, an urbane and cosmopolitan gentlemen. His humility was indeed infectious and his approach to national matters through the prism of oneness and brotherhood.
What is League of Patriotic Lawyers’ agenda for President Goodluck Jonathan?
We have sent a memo to President Jonathan that if he wants to plant his name in the sand of time, he should address the hydra headed tripartite problems of light (power), infrastructural decay and sustainable agricultural development.
This will take us right to sustainable development. Reliance on monolithic crude oil should be discouraged and incentives given to mechanized farming, whilst small scale farmers should also be encouraged to ensure they are not driven out of the market.
What’s your view on corruption in the country?
This has stunted the growth of the Nigerian nation. If genuine growth is our concern, we must fight corruption in high and low places. The EFCC must be repositioned to make it more functional. We have suggested to President Jonathan to unburden the commission and split it into 3 parts viz.
Arrest and investigations-should be left solely in the hands of the Police., Prosecution should be handled by the professional, that is, lawyers and Recovery of Assets should be under a specialized agent.
Each section should not be mutually independent but cooperates nicely not to jeopardize modern crime detection, prosecution and recovery of public funds. We have suggested that Ibrahim Lamurde,· the current Director of operations should effectively take over the commission if the work of corruption is to be sustained.