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"Obj did not use me" Ribadu to fight his opponents

"Obj did not use me" Ribadu to fight his opponents

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Pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, has blamed Nigeria’s inability to win the corruption war on structural defects in the laws guarding anti-graft agencies’ operations.

Source Vanguard News
Akanbi noted the non-revision of the law demanding that ICPC can only arrest someone who had committed a crime if a report is made against the culprit by way of petition.

The former Appeal Court President said the existence of such law coupled with the requirement that the anti-graft agencies must pass through the Attorney General in prosecuting corruption cases had tended to draw back corruption fight in Nigeria.

Besides, the former ICPC boss lamented the reported corruption in the judiciary, which has made it possible for corrupt but powerful persons in the society to escape punishment.

Akanbi said: “I have the feeling that it should be possible for ICPC to investigate any case once it has information from any source, whether it is reported or not.

“But that notwithstan-ding, I believe that where there is political will, where there is the determination to fight corruption, the much that we have in the law will assist us to do better.

“As far as the issue of delay is concerned, the courts themselves have to study the underpin-ning philosophy of the anti-corruption law and must be part of the body that will ensure that we fight corruption to the hilt in this country.

“So, let us get it clear. The law is one thing, the application or implemen-tation another. And that is largely due to those who man the courts.”

A court has power to make an order that you must not investigate a case against a particular person. Unfortunately, people who are corrupt are those who have the wealth of this country in their hands. They can get the best lawyers; they can go on to bribe a willing judge.

“What I want to say is that the ICPC and the EFCC must beam their searchlight on the courts and the judges themselves. We have heard of stories of about judges being corrupt. In the past I don’t see how a judge or I as a judge of a court and how somebody would come and try to talk to me over a case that is before me. But today, we hobnob with them.

The retired judge noted that no anti-graft agency can function without being properly funded, adding that all organs of the government must be seen to be supportive of the fight to eliminate corruption from the system.

Akanbi noted: “If a government wants to fight corruption, it must be in the vanguard. The President of the country must be in the vanguard. He must make it an article of faith that he wants to fight corruption.

“Then the chief law officer of the land, the attorney general must be incorruptible. He must not be somebody who interferes in your affairs. When I was there no attorney general interfered with cases I was doing. But soon after I left, I learnt they were saying they should pass through the AG’s office.

“Now, if I were the chairman then, I would leave because having been President of the Court of Appeal, I can’t see how I will go and kowtow before an Attorney General,” Akanbi said.

Asked to comment on the claim that former President Obasanjo used him and Ribadu to fight perceived enemies, Akanbi said that it was untrue that he was used by Obasanjo for any untoward purpose.

He said: “I cannot speak for Ribadu but I can speak for myself and I say it on my honour that Obasanjo never for once interfered with my administration. He had never asked me to arrest somebody and I never arrested somebody until we had investigated and received advice from the prosecution department that a prima facie case had been made.

“I never knew Obasanjo before the chairman of ICPC. Obasanjo made investigations and pleaded with me to accept the office and I said no that I had had enough of government work. Obasanjo is alive and you can go and ask him,” he said.

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