The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, has urged President Buhari to urgently issue and sign an “Unexplained Wealth Order Bill” as well as prevail on the National Assembly to pass the Proceeds of Crime Bill in time, in order to genuinely strengthen the fight against corruption, regardless of the bickering on the management of the proceeds recovered.
Senator Ndume made the call, on Saturday, as part of his recommendations as the guest lecturer at the University of Ibadan’s 2021 Distinguished Leadership Lecture series, titled: “Unexplained Wealth and the Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria,“ held at the Trenchard Hall of the institution.
The senator, who called for what he described as a “top to bottom” approach in the fight against corruption if the menace must be fought to a halt, argued that the crusade against the monster should start from Politically Exposed Persons (PEP), such as senators, members of the House of Representatives, ministers, House of Assembly members, commissioners and Local Government chairmen and those directly connected to the finances of government such as directors of finance, treasures, accountants and revenue officers.
Senator Ndume observed that the current security challenges confronting the country is a by-product of corruption, adding that corruption and insecurity are closely bound with the funding of transnational organised crimes like terrorism, human trafficking, drug crimes and illegal arms trade, which has negative impact on the economic well-being of the people and widen the gap between those who have and those who do not have.
He stated: “One should not be be mistaken on how good it is to have riches, but toxic riches should be abhorred because it pollutes the society.
It changes our good culture.
It breeds injustice and impunity.
Every citizen has a role to play.
To this end, there is the need to look to the incidence of corruption, most especially those occasioned by public officers who are in trust of public wealth.
Speaking on the possible way forward, the guest lecturer said: “Our whistle blower policy which had still birth before it became law must be revisited.
The motivation should not just be the reward, but patriotism.
Public policy should be guided and in this case, matters of unexplained wealth should be excluded for the application of this provision.
The Code of Conduct Bureau has a duty to require every public officer to make declaration of assets periodically,” Ndume submitted.
The host and Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof.
Kayode Adebowale, noted that the institution is tackling the fight against corruption in an organic way, adding that nearly every undergraduate student in the university takes a course in ethics, either as a compulsory general studies course or as a regular department-based course.
He opined that it is the belief that exposure to the courses would go a long way in moulding the anticorruption disposition of the students, making them the corner pieces of a corruption-free Nigeria of everybody’s dream.
The lecture, which held under the chairmanship of Dr.
Akin Onigbinde, SAN, also had in attendance the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof Kayode Adebowale, Senators Fatai Buhari (Oyo North), Kola Balogun (Oyo South) and Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Ekiti North).
Senator Urges President to Sign Unexplained Wealth Order Bill