The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, has advocated more collaboration among anti-corruption agencies, and the three arms of government for a successful fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Prof Owasanoye was speaking at a high level event organized by the Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), on the theme: Collaborative Approach to Eradicating the Evils of Corruption in Nigeria.
He said for the country to have an appreciable and effective system of fighting corruption, there must be improved inter-agency and arms-of-government collaboration which will, apart from dealing with grand corruption, also deal a deathblow to retail corruption at the grassroots.
The ICPC Chairman further noted that concerted effort by the anti-corruption agencies in collaboration with players in the financial sector was critical to success in the fight just as the anti-corruption agencies need coordination.
While declaring the event open, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo also made remarks in respect of the need for all anti-corruption agencies to collaborate in the fight against corruption in order to achieve success.
He stated that such lack of collaboration had cost the fight against corruption a lot. According to him, if that collaboration had been in place, the government would not have lost some high-profile cases against justices of the Supreme Court that were accused of corrupt practices; a former Director General of Department of State Services (DSS) and his wife would not have escaped from Nigeria; and the Governor of a state in the South-south geo-political zone would not have been relying on the ruling of a Federal Court stopping the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from investigating the activities of his government.
He further noted that President Muhammadu Buhari, had set out early in 2015 to deal with grand corruption which involves the fight against political and public office holders that had stolen huge sums from the government treasury, indicating the President’s commitment to the cause.
The Vice President used the opportunity to commend PACAC for setting the agenda for robust conversation on corruption matters with a view to ensuring collaboration and synergy amongst the different anti-corruption agencies.
The event was attended by heads of other anti-corruption agencies such as the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), etc.