SUNDAY MUSINGS: 17 Ways of Stopping Financial Corruption in Nigeria – A Summary
As a general move, we should:
Pass the Freedom of Information Bill;
Pass the Whistle-Blower’s Bill;
Strengthen all the laws that were used to establish the ICPC and the EFCC so that they are not weakened by the courts.
For elected public officials, we should:
focus on the executives at the National, State and Local Government levels;
enable public access to their declared assets, sanctioning any officials that don’t declare their assets and/or truthfully;
require independent, professional and regular audits of all LG, state and federal accounts, and make available to the public;
abrogate or seriously amend Section 308 immunity clause that benefit the President, the Vice-President, the 36 governors and 36 deputy-governors.If amended, Section 308 should allow the
(i)the Police, the ICPC and the EFCC to pursue CRIMINAL charges the executive officials;
(ii)the Senate to investigate civil charges against the President, after a grand jury of three Appeals Court judges has determined that there is a prima facie case against them that is urgent; and
(iii)State Houses of Assembly to investigate civil charges against the governors and their deputies; after a grand jury of three High Court judges has determined that there is a prima facie case against them that is urgent;
For unelected public officials, we should:
speedily prosecute all persons not protected by Section 308 who aids and abets those immunized officials in financial and other types of corruption;
focus on ridding the Police Force and Judicial Bench of corruption; these two arms are the most public faces of exercising justice in the land;
observe zero-tolerance for bribery by the NPF on our highways, including use of sting operations;
observe zero-tolerance for bribery by judges, mandatorily disbarring any found to have taken bribes.
For private sector officials, we should:
focus on ridding the banks and other financial houses of corrupt practices;
observe zero-tolerance for money-laundering: sanctions could for example DOUBLE the amounts laundered, including closing banks down for egregious violations;
observe zero-tolerance for foreign-exchange round-tripping; fines should double the amount round-tripped.
For the citizenry at large, we should:
focus on eliminating the 4-1-9 advanced fee fraud crime, making it a "special economic crime against the state";
use a central registry of phones and faxes supplied on the 4-1-9 letters to SHUT down the phone numbers IMMEDIATELY;
use sting operations to arrest and SUMMARILY jail caught miscreants.
Until we strenuously tackle at least each of these seventeen steps comprehensively, the fight against financial corruption in Nigeria cannot be deemed to be serious.