The Nigerian government will remain resolute in its fight against corruption in spite of the daunting challenges.
Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said this in Lagos at the 5th Annual Christopher Kolade Lecture on Business Integrity entitled: ‘Prevention is better than Cure even on the Issue of Corruption.’
Corruption must be prosecuted
“We must ensure that corruption is prosecuted. In the last two years, we have had many cases of persons accused of corruption taken to the courts…We have a hardworking and courageous team as most of our law enforcement agencies and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC have worked commendably despite daunting challenges.
“Of course they are not perfect and there are several complaints, but what is obvious is that they have focused on the work of investigation and prosecution and in fact, very few convictions and there are several reasons for that,’’ Professor Osinbajo explained.
He stated; “the most notorious of which are the delays in our administration of justice system mainly caused, sometimes by lawyers whose defence strategy is delayed. Often judges have indulged these tactics by not taking firm control of their courts. A witness in a case being cross examined for over a month.
“An important lesson for any society that is fighting systemic corruption, is that corruption will fight back viciously, using every means possible, and sometimes, using the very constitutions that are created to fight it…We have experienced and continued to experience that but the antidote is single minded commitment. And I must say that we are permitted to ensure that we will continue to fight against corruption despite whatever obstacles involved.”
The lecture was organised by the Integrity Organisation Limited, an anti-corruption, research and advocacy organisation concerned with issues of public accountability and transparency.
Zero tolerance for corruption
Dr. Christopher Kolade said the Integrity Organisation was established 20 years ago as a society of people with zero tolerance for corruption.
Dr Kolade said “the organisation has continued to drive the vision through visionary leadership, creativity and effective implementation of ideas and empower people against corruption.’’
He urged Nigerians to tell people identified as corrupt that they would no longer be celebrated.
The Chairman of the Integrity Organisation, Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje lamented that corruption has continued to thrive because the society had been kind to corruptive tendencies.
To tackle corruption he said that corruptive tendencies and risky behaviours should be prevented rather than waiting to prevent it.