By Soni Daniel
Abuja—The Federal Government said yesterday that it will muster the needed political will to enforce the Freedom of Information Act and other instruments to help in the fight against corruption in the country.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, stated this when the Board of Governors, Freedom of Information Coalition, Nigeria (FOICN), visited him in Abuja.
Malami, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, observed that the FoI Act is one legislative instrument that is very strategic in the fight against corruption.
The minister said the ministry was ready to partner with civil society groups like the Coalition to further latch on the advantage provided by the act to stem corruption in the system.
The minister said in a bid to actualise its fight against corruption, the government had taken steps to send more bills to the National Assembly on how to check graft in the country.
Among such legislations are: the Whistle-blowers Bill and the Asset Forfeiture Bill also known as FATF Bill which the Minister is spearheading, the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Centre (NFIC) Bill that will domesticate the full remit of the FAFT Recommendation 29, the Proceeds of Crime (POCA) Bill, and the Money Laundering (Prohibition and Prevention) Bill as well as the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill.
“So far, two of these bills, the Money Laundering (Prohibition and Prevention) as well as the Mutual Legal Assistance Bills have been read on the floor of the House of Representatives on January 27th, 2016.
He said: “It is the belief and hope of the Federal Government that these bills will not only support the policies of this administration in combating corruption and stolen asset return, they would also respond to the requirements of FAFT and international conventions.”
The Minister reassured that the Freedom of Information Act will not be swept under the carpet and that there will be no hiding place for any corrupt officials in any public institution in the country.