ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Coalition of labour centres, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Tuesday
expressed support for capital punishment for any public office holder found culpable in looting public treasury at the federal, state and local government levels.
The unions which converged at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) headquarters in Abuja ahead of the September 10 anti-corruption and good governance campaign, also called for resuscitation of total war against corruption.
Ayuba Wabba, NLC President and Bobboi Kaigama, TUC president, who spoke at the joint press briefing on the proposed anti-corruption and good governance campaign, slated for September 10, decried the level of impunity of public office holders.
Wabba explained that the unions resolved to intensify and sustain the campaign against corruption “because of the corrosive effects of this malaise in our quest to develop and provide for the vast majority of Nigerian people, who are being deprived of development by corrupt public officers and their collaborators.
“This policy thrust predated the March/April 2015 general elections in the country. It was a continuation of the Congress’ traditions that inspired: the furniture allowance protest against the National Assembly in 1999; the 2008 protest against the $16 billion purportedly spent on power without one megawatt of power generated; the 2010 Ettegate scandal in the House of Representatives and Congress’ several campaigns against the incessant increases in the prices of petroleum products, especially during the reign of President Olusegun Obasanjo.”
He also bemoaned the reported $150 billion lost to corruption in Nigeria during Buhari’s visit to United States; $11.63 billion crude oil swap to subsidy and domestic crude allocation allegedly paid to NNPC without evidence of the remittance; as well as the missing $11.6 billion from the NLG company dividend payment according to NEITI’s report and misappropriation of N32 billion police Pension Fund, among others.
He argued that the exit of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the March 28 general elections, “provided an opportunity for the Federation Account management to be subjected to closer scrutiny.”
The NLC boss, who applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance against graft, called for the recovery of all funds identified to have been illegally taken from the common treasury to the last kobo and prosecute the perpetrators.
The Congress also called for establishment of special anti-corruption courts to try corruption cases, noting that “those who have looted our treasury have become adept at using loopholes in the procedures of regular courts to delay and in several cases subvert the cause of justice.”
Wabba also called for the appointment of anti-graft judges provided for in the ICPC Act, which is supposed to be for the 36 states of the federation to exclusively handle corruption-related cases only.
In the bid to ensure effective participation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and professional bodies, NLC has sent out mobilisation letters to various affiliates across the country.
Meanwhile, Joe Ajaero-faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress has disassociated itself from the anti-corruption rally.