June 3, 2020

Remove immunity; slash ministers, effect part-time lawmaking — Arewa House tells FG

Arewa house

…inducts EFCC’s Magu into Integrity Hall of Fame

Soni Daniel, Abuja

For Nigeria to curtail the high level of corruption in the polity, it must urgently do away with immunity from prosecution for presidents and governors and pay its lawmakers only allowances on days of sitting and oversight assignments.

Similarly, the federal government should urgently amend the law to drastically reduce the number of ministers in the country from 42 to a maximum of 25, so as to reduce the huge amount of public funds spent on them.

Also read: Alleged N1.1bn fraud: ICPC withdraws charge against ex-Custom boss, Dikko

This position was made on Wednesday in Abuja by the Director of a northern think-tank, Arewa House, Dr. Shuaibu Shehu Aliyu, while inducting the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, into Arewa House “Integrity Hall of Fame.”

Arewa House is a centre for research and historical documentations under the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Dr. Aliyu pointed out that although Magu’s EFCC had taken the anti-corruption war to a new level in Nigeria through many high profile investigations and prosecution, the legal conferment of immunity on certain public officers and the jumbo pay made to lawmakers in Nigeria was making the fight more difficult.

The director also blamed the continued growth and spread of corruption in Nigeria on the celebration and promotion of corrupt public officials who share part of their loot with others and use the same proceeds to buy temporal and ecclesiastical titles without shame.

The Arewa House chief said: Nigerians must stop celebrating those who steal public funds. The major problem in the country is that of officials stealing public funds and taking the cash abroad to develop those overseas areas while Nigerians are left to suffer avoidable challenges.

“The Conscience and culture of working for the people who as enshrined in the law appear to have since died because of the fact that many public officers steal without conscience and return home with the loot to be celebrated by the community. This is absurd and despicable,” Aliyu pointed out.

Explaining why Magu was chosen for the honour, the director said that the EFCC boss had demonstrated unrivaled commitment, dedication, and fearlessness in confronting the monster called corruption even at the expense of his life, thereby symbolising the late Sadauna of Sokoto.

Aliyu said that Magu has made Nigeria proud as a special public officer with outstanding credentials and hi9gh level of integrity that the world has taken notice and is proud to be associated with Nigeria.

Magu, who personally received the award dubbed Champion of Integrity, said he was proud and happy to continue to fight for the elimination of graft in the country given the support and encouragement he was enjoying from the Buhari administration and the generality of Nigerians, adding that he would not shy away in the discharge of his assignment.

Drew attention to the high profile corruption cases he painstakingly investigated and prosecuted leading to the conviction and recovery of huge public funds.

He is more than a conqueror and should be singled out for recognition by Nigerians. Magu should be applauded rather than being vilified by those opposed to the anti-graft war un any public institution in Nigeria.

Magu said: Ï am humbled by the recognition and the award as well as my induction into the Arewa Hall of Integrity. I am happy also that President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption fight is recognized worldwide. Our success has been made possible by the President and his administration which has given us the necessary support and encouragement over the years to plod on.”

“That encouragement has given us the impetus to continue with the fight and to bring to book whoever is caught stealing public funds. It is important for us to kill corruption so that it does not down Nigeria and drown all of us,” Magu stated.