By Muhammad Nasir Bello
Sokoto – The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday staged separate rallies in Sokoto to solicit for a collective support against all forms of corruption.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commissions organised the rallies in Sokoto metropolis as part of activities to celebrate the 2019 International Anti-Corruption Day.
The day is observed every Dec.9 since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on Oct. 31, 2003 to raise public awareness against corruption.
In his message, ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said the theme for the year, ‘United Against Corruption’, was not limited to anti-corruption agencies alone, but to every eligible Nigerian.
According to him, fighting corruption is an obligation of every citizen, in view of the fact that the after effects of corruption are not limited to those directly involved, but to all citizens.
“Therefore, for the fight against corruption to succeed, you, the Nigerian citizen, need to contribute your quota,” he said.
Owasanoye, who was represented by ICPC Commissioner in Sokoto State, Mr Musa Alkali, also identified some of the effects of corruption on a nation.
“When a country’s institutions are weakened by corruption, for instance, its security forces will not be trusted; its borders will become porous, criminality will fester and insecurity may be internationalised.
“The key question to be asked here is, ‘What are the immediate causes of corruption and its debilitating effects on the society.
“Would it not be better if the entire society join hands to tackle it.
“The battle against corruption is currently raging and it is our belief that it is not the sole responsibility of the ICPC or government alone, but the collective responsibility of each and everyone of us as citizens of this great country, Nigeria.
“As we explore the options of collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption, we shall intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office,” he said.
On his part, the EFCC head in-charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, Mr Abdullahi Lawal, said the zone had made tremendous impact in the course of its operations over time.
According to Lawal, the zone has 151 cases still under investigation, while 49 were already in its legal department.
He said the commission had also secured four convictions out of 20 prosecutions from the 236 petitions it received.
“We have recovered over N910.9 million monetary recoveries, four vehicles and 53 tricycles on investigation; and five houses and two shops marked from our various operations between January to date,” he said.
Lawal, while noting that the dangers of corruption were enormous and negative to national development, said the fight against corruption was one for every patriot to join hands and bring to an end. (NAN)