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How to battle graft, by UN Secretary-General, Magu, others

•Magu (fourth left); Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba (fourth right); Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Director-General Dakuku Peterside (third right); Minister of Sports and Youths Development Sunday Dare and others at a rally in Abuja on Monday08354/9/12/2019/Albert Otu/NAN

UNITED Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres and United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Yury Fedotov have urged people globally to keep working on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption and to ensure that precious resources serve the peoples of the world.

Guterres and Fedotov spoke on Monday through different messages as part of activities marking the International Anti-Corruption Day.

The statements were issued by the National Project Officer, Outreach and Communications, UNODC Nigeria Country Office, Abuja Sylvester Tunde Atere.

The UN Secretary-General said: “Every year, trillions of dollars – the equivalent of more than five per cent of global Gross Domestic Product – are paid in bribes or stolen through corrupt practices that seriously undermine the rule of law and abet crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms.

“Tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit flows divert much-needed resources from schools, hospitals and essential infrastructure; funds that are essential to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.

“People are right to be angry. Corruption threatens the well-being of our societies, the future of our children and the health of our planet. It must be fought by all, for all.

“And as in their mobilisation for ambitious climate action and fair globalisation, it is inspiring to see young people demanding accountability and justice as a way to address and eradicate corrupt practices.”

The UN Secretary-General urged the people to unite against corruption to stop the drain on resources caused by illicit financial flows.

He added: “The United Nations Convention against Corruption, ratified by nearly every country in the world, gives us the means to strengthen our commitment to addressing this issue.

“Later this month, Governments will meet in Abu Dhabi to review progress and prepare for the first-ever General Assembly Special Session on combatting corruption, which will take place in 2021. I call on them to take decisive action to make the fight against corruption a top priority.

“On this International Day, I urge people everywhere to continue to work on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption and to ensure that precious resources serve the peoples of the world. “

Yuriv, in his statement, said: “Corruption affects people in their daily lives. It bars them from accessing resources and opportunities. It erodes trust in public institutions and compromises the social contract. In doing so, corruption thwarts our attempts at building a better world.”

Magu to Nigerians: have zero tolerance for corruption

Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu yesterday advised Nigerians to be less tolerant of criminal activities around them.

Magu spoke during an anti-corruption walk in Lagos in commemoration of the 2019 International anti-corruption day.

The walk, themed “United against Corruption” was aimed at creating awareness on the negative impact of corruption on Nigeria’s economic development.

More than 100 members of the commission marched from Obalende, Tafawa Balewa Square to the EFCC office on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi carrying placards with anti-corruption inscriptions on them.

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The EFCC boss, who spoke via a press release, said the agency could not singlehandedly defeat corruption.

Magu said: “We are convinced that corruption can only be tackled when there is a meeting of minds and common resolve by all to fight the malaise. No one must be left behind. It is a collective responsibility to take Nigeria out of the woods.

“It is no longer news that corruption is at the mid-riff of our developmental growth as a nation.”

“You will all agree with me that it promotes impunity in the conduct of public affairs. It is the reasons the nation is yet to fully realize it’s potentials as the effects of corruption permeate every sector.”

Wike to EFCC: fight graft within the ambit of the law

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to fight corruption within the ambit of the law.

Wike declared that any action outside the tenets of the law is corruption.

He spoke on Monday during the “Walk Against Corruption” organised by the EFCC to mark this year’s International Anti-corruption Day.

He said: “EFCC should fight corruption within the ambit of the law. We will support EFCC to fight corruption within the ambit of the law.

“Anything outside the law, Rivers State Government will not be part of it. Fighting corruption outside the law is corruption. ”

He appealed to the EFCC to ensure that they establish processes to fight corruption within the rule of law.

“We urge the EFCC to fight corruption within the law. Anything that is against the rule of law is no longer a fight against corruption,” Wike said.

He reiterated that the Rivers State government would support legal efforts by the EFCC to end corruption in the system.

Wike announced that the Rivers State government resolved to donate another premises to the EFCC to expand their operations in the state.

He said corruption has eaten deep into the national system, distorting the development process in the country.

“EFCC alone cannot fight corruption. It requires all Nigerians to join hands to fight corruption. If you are in my Government and you don’t want to fight corruption, you cannot be in my Government.

“Without law, EFCC cannot be in existence. It is the law that created EFCC. So you must work within the law. Nigerians should know that corruption has eaten deep into society. Corruption has set us back. We must all come out to join EFCC to fight corruption,” he said.

Zonal Head of EFCC, Port Harcourt, Abdulrasheed Wahab, said EFCC was marking the International Anti-corruption Day with sister agencies and para-military agencies to sensitise the public on the fight against corruption.

He said this year’s theme is zero tolerance for corruption in the maritime and transport sectors. He said that the history of EFCC in Port Harcourt is that of EFCC investigating the oil sector, illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft, economic sabotage and other related crimes in the maritime sector.

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Wahab urged vessel owners, badge owners, boats and vehicles owners to be law-abiding and obtain all relevant licenses from relevant authorities. He charged them to know their captains and drivers to stem the tide of illegality.

He said the EFCC has over the years worked for the recovery of more than N700billion and over $200 million and 407 mansions to the Federal Government.

He urged all groups to join the fight against corruption in the interest of the development of the country.

Leaders of Civil Society, the maritime sector and para-military agencies who spoke after the walk declared their support in the fight against corruption.

The walk against corruption started at the EFCC Zonal Office at Old GRA and terminated at the Rumuwoji Market. Wike and the leaders also trekked back to Government House from the Rumuwoji Market.

We inherited N100b debts in Kwara, says AbdulRazaq

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq yesterday said his administration inherited N100 billion debts from the administration of AbdulFatah Ahmed.

AbdulRazaq spoke in Ilorin, the state capital at a rally to mark this year’s world anti-corruption day organized by the Ilorin Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He said: “Today is a glorious day. This march is an important message is simple. There is no time for a long story. If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill all us. Corruption is detrimental to our socio-economic development. It reduces our capacity. So we all must join hands together to fight the monster.

“I thank the EFCC for the recovery it has made. When we came into power there would have been nothing for us to inherit. The outgone government told us that they left a debt of N30 billion but so far we are looking at almost N100 billion indebtedness. If the EFCC had not blocked N4.8 billion for us at the eve of our assumption of office we would have had nothing to work with.

“And I can tell you that we have not touched the N4.8 billion. It is in our cash reserve to work on our economy and balance the budget for next year, to work on our schools, our roads and infrastructure.

“I also thank the EFCC for the recovery of over N111 million which I went into their office to collect. On the issue of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS), we will be surprised pleasantly as a government to see what can be recovered from there and be re-invested in our social development. We will work together with them assiduously to end corruption in our society.”

EFCC’s Ilorin Zonal Head Isyaku Sharu put the worth of cash and assets so far recovered by the commission in the state at N3.6 billion.

Sharu said: “This is both interim and final forfeiture from suspected treasury looters. Some of these properties are in Ikoyi, Lekki, Lagos and the recent one at GRA Ilorin, worth a billion naira which was gotten last week.


•From left: National Orientation Agency Director Mrs. Dolapo Dosumu; EFCC Ibadan Zonal Head Friday Ebelo; Secretary to the State Government Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun; Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and Chief of Staff Mojeed Mogbojubola during a walk in Ibadan on Monday

“It is pertinent to note that at the eve of the last handing over the commission saved the state attempted pilferage of over four billion Naira tax refund. Currently, an investigation into KWIRS led to the recovery of about N50 million. Effort is on top gear to recover the remaining balance of about four billion naira from some notable individuals in the state fingered in the alleged case of fraud in KWIRS.”

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Buhari’s anti-corruption fight not selective, says CSOs

A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) on Monday said the successful prosecution and conviction of some persons close to the present administration showed that the Federal Government’s anti-corruption crusade was not selective.

The CSOs noted that contrary to claims in some quarters that President Muhammadu Buhari was using the anti-graft war to pursue perceived political opponents, more members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had been convicted than people from the opposition political parties.

The coalition under the aegis of Accountability and Good Governance initiative (AGGI), argued that the convictions of notable bigwigs in the ruling party in recent time had faulted the arguments in some quarters that the corruption war was being waged only on perceived opponents of the present administration.

Co-convener of the group, Solomon Adodo, spoke at a briefing in Abuja to review the fight against corruption in the country under the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

He said: “Notable bigwigs including prominent former governors and politicians across party lines have been given their respective sabbatical in the various prisons facilities now christened correctional centres across the country.”

National Coordinator of the group, Jacob Okpanachi, commended stakeholders, especially the media for being in the pursuit of ending corruption in Nigeria.

EFCC recovers N918.7m, secures 22 convictions in Kano

The Kano Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recovered over N918, 758, 522.68 from various money launderers in 2019.

The Zonal Head, Mr. Akaninwene Ezima, who spoke on behalf of the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Mustapha Magu, during the rally to mark the 16th United Nations International Anti-corruption Day, with its theme: ‘Zero Tolerance To Corruption’ said the recovery of the exhibits was made between January and December.

According to him, the Zone recovered N643, 942, 612.68, $706, 800.00, Saudi Riyal 294, 950.00 and 2, 800.00 Yen, all amounting to over N918.7 million.

The state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ado Kabiru Minjibir, said the NLC would continue to support the EFCC in the fight against corruption to its logical conclusion.

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