The Nigerian government is investigating a probable case of misappropriation, money laundering and looting of the treasury in transactions made by the CBN, the former National Security Adviser, and the Department of State Services. The amount in question is a huge N60 billion.
Now, here’s an excerpt from a news article that ran on The Cable and I think it’s worthy of note:
““What the CBN did was to create an intervention fund, which it is empowered to do by the CBN Act. That is why we have aviation intervention fund, agriculture intervention fund, all sorts, which are now being abused to take money out of the system,” one of the sources said.” — The Cable, ‘How CBN emptied its vaults to finance PDP’s presidential campaign’
That statement caught and held my attention. We do have some ‘strange’ laws in this country that encourage these sorts of leakages. And that’s the reason these people get charged to court and yet walk free most of the time. They have laws they can point to for justification!
If we are going to defeat corruption in Nigeria, then we must clean up our laws. Our laws are the bases of power in the State. We know that, ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. I think it’s not a coincidence that the office of the Nigerian president is one of the most powerful presidential offices in the world at the same time that Nigeria ranks as one of the most corrupt States in the world.
There’s just too much power vested in the bodies of our government and it’s no surprise that corruption thrives this much.
Where are the checks and balances? Where is the transparency?
If Nigeria wasn’t broke right now, and if President Buhari wasn’t so concerned about recovering missing funds, we would never know that such a thing as this happened at all. Why? Legal smokescreen plays a huge role in the cover up.
So it is important as we hail the present government for its posturing against corruption, that we also recognize how it is carrying out the work and critic it. I believe we can so clean up our laws and strengthen our FOI laws to the extent that we can at any time audit the system and easily sniff out cheats.
This is one reason I am surprised and indignant at the proposed bill to restrict social media use in Nigeria. And then what will happen afterward? Colossal looting maybe, and we wouldn’t even be able to mobilize properly against it without resorting violence.
This again is another strange bill that intends to give the government power it has no business handling!
I appeal to the Legislative houses to please look beyond ‘dos and don’ts’ and pass laws that ensure greater transparency, accountability, and reasonable checks and balances. I believe this is the way to go rather than stifling our constitutionally guaranteed rights. Our laws should be have answers for what we face today, protect our collective dignity and clear a sustainable path for our development as a democratic nation.
(The full news article from which the excerpt was quoted may be accessed at bit.ly/1XEGmKj)