By Ibrahim Wuyo
The Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Suleiman Abdu Kwari has said that he would leave behind an enviable legacy of anti-corruption war, comparatively better than what he met on ground.
The lawmaker made this revelation while speaking to journalists in an interview.
When asked about his midterm goals on the anti-graft sector, he gave a run-down of specific areas where the reforms he championed had paid up.
His words: “When we resumed legislative activity in the 9th Assembly, the Senate under the astute leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan and all of us adopted a legislative agenda for the 9th Senate and we also committed to abiding by the goals and strategies therein.”
He explained further : “Our predecessors had done their best under the circumstances and we were not under any illusion as to what was expected of us”.
Responding to a question on whether there were enough legislations to fight corruption but lack of political will to enforce them he answered in the affirmative, adding however, that “the fight against corruption and financial crimes needed certain enabling legal framework for the fight to succeed.”.
He went on to recall that “The first thing we did was identify the gaps in the system. Realising that Nigeria had certain international commitments, we swung into action by putting together the 9th Senate Legislative Anti-Corruption Strategy. This was the roadmap we needed to guide our activities going forward.”
He also named some of the milestones recorded as part of his legislative activism: “The bills on Witness Protection, Money Laundering, Forfeited Asset Management Authority as well as the Whistle Blower or Public Interest Disclosure have all had their 1st reading.”
He revealed that beyond the bills, “We have established the Nigeria Chapter of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) and through this body, we have commenced the review of the National Anti Corruption Strategy (NACS). We have submitted Constitutional alteration proposals to unbundle the Code of Conduct Bureau from the Code of Conduct Tribunal and others.”
While responding to a question about the Anti Corruption Agencies under his Committee oversight he gave details of the amendments made so far, being emphatic about redefining the required framework to make the anti-corruption fight successful by making the relevant agencies enjoy the deserved independence and being accountable. He assured of a more vigorous fight against corruption and financial crimes.
“We are also amending the enabling legislations for the EFCC, ICPC as well as the NFIU to grant these bodies full independence and make them accountable in the discharge of their duties.