Fighting Corruption: Sagay Blames Presidency, Urges Return to Drawing Board

fighting corruption: sagay blames presidency
Professor Itse Sagay SAN

Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), on Saturday blamed the presidency for the setbacks recently witnessed in the fight against corruption.

While speaking in Abuja at a programme organised by the National Association of Seadogs (the Pyrates Confraternity), Sagay also attributed lapses in the corruption fight to the fraudulent activities of compromised elements in the judiciary and legislature as well as a lack of diligence on the part of some senior government officials.

Sagay said, “The Federal Government, particularly the President and Vice-President, who were elected into office principally to eliminate corruption, must go back to their drawing board, search and scan the constitution and other laws to draw the requisite irresistible power to deal firmly with this terrible scourge of our times – otherwise we are all dead.”

The PACAC chairman also lamented the inability of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to look into corruption cases against judges. He said the primary duty of the NJC was to address judicial misdemeanour.

Sagay however revealed that his anti-corruption committee had drafted a new bill named ‘Forfeiture of Assets and Properties, procured by unlawful activity (proceeds of crimes)’ which, when passed into law, would empower courts to order forfeiture of properties acquired by a corruption suspect without the person being convicted.

He added that he had already advised anti-graft agencies to use the non-conviction based assets recovery system to fight graft in some peculiar cases.

Another member of the anti-corruption advisory panel, Prof Femi Odekunle took direct shots at the attorney-general of the federation, Mr Abubakar Malami SAN, questioning his competence to lead the fight against corruption.

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Prof Odekunle also challenged the integrity of Justice Danladi Umar, chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) which recently acquitted Senate President Bukola Saraki of false assets declaration charges after the latter made a no-case submission.

Punch reports that Prof Odekunle also advised the presidency to consider using unconventional methods to fight corruption and be ready to engage in what he termed a ‘rofo rofo’ fight.

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