NASS and endless efforts at fighting corruption

Corruption probes in Nigeria is not giving citizens any cause to cheer. It has become rather comical and achieves no end. Instead of being n end in itself, probes conducted in the country, either by the executive, legislative, or judicial processes, have turned out to be huge disappointment, not bringing any cause for the citizens to feel that any reasonable process is being taken to curtail the putrid corruption that have emasculated the country, making it occupy premium position for years on the infamous corruption index analysis.

For example, the National Assembly has not brought to conclusion, the probe of Hon. Farouk Lawan, former member of the House of Representatives who was caught on tape collecting a first tranche of $620,000 out of a $3million bribe while the House Committee he headed, investigated the now almost forgotten fuel subsidy scam. He was seen collecting the money from oil mogul, Femi Otedola. That probe is at a dead end. The executive is also not interested any longer. The State Security Service (SSS) which carried out the sting operation, have since gone on holiday about it.

Again, we heard of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, the Chairman of defunct Pension Reform Task Team. He was accused of looting N195 billion. The looting affected nearly 141,790 pensioners.

In the cause of the probe, Sent. Aloysius Etuk (Akwa Ibom State), was alleged by Main to have demanded $100,000 as bribe. Former director of pension in the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Sani Shuaibu Teidi, who was facing trial along with 31 others, alleged that Erik and his colleagues collected N3 billion bribe from him: End of the matter.

There was the allegation of missing N20 billion oil earnings made by former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and deposed Emir of Kano, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi Lamido. He had claimed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) did not remit the money. That matter is dead as well.

Equally, there was a claimed $15million private jet/arms scandal, in which it was alleged that a private jet conveyed $15 million in cash to Johannesburg for a purported arms deal in South African. That has hit a dead end.

Fraud unravelled of the Police Pension Fund in which a former Director of the Fund, Esai Dangabar, was accused of N32.8 billion is now in the limbo. Dangabar had accused some committee members of the Senate of benefiting from the loot and everybody shut their mouth; they put off their mic.

There was also the issue of alleged kerosene subsidy scam in which it was alleged that the product, which was supposed to be sold for N50 to consumer, was then sold between N100 and N120 per litre. That matter ended at reporting level. Nothing more happened, while the cheats smiled to the banks.

Foreign exchange scam, which had become recurring decimal, to the extent that Nigeria has become notorious as being among the few countries where foreign currency is sold along the streets, as is currently happening in the space opposite the Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers, was never at any time halted. It has remained a thriving economic crime against the country, being carried out by some “lazy” and criminally-minded persons occupying privileged portfolio.

Allegations made against Sent. Stella Oduah as a former Aviation Minister in which she was alleged to be involved in a N255 million armoured car scandal, ended in the shelf of the House of Representatives.

The employment scam at the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) on March 13, 2015, in which then Minister of Interior, Abba Morro was fingered and the consequential death of over 15 job applicants at the National Stadium involving a private firm, Drexel Nig Ltd, have died.

The Malabu Oil Scandal is perhaps one of the most recurring national malaise with every administration after the President Olusegun Obadanjo administration opening the wound only to hurriedly close the chapter. Up till now, this scandal reeks it’s head, but is never resolved.

The AUTHORITY believes that the nation witnesses unparalleled abandoned project, including the Ajaokuta Steel Project and associated works, dredging of the inland water ways, across the country road reconstruction and rehabilitation projects because the contractors awarded such contract know for certain that if they embezzle the money given to them, nothing will happen.

It is even more terrible that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which anchored it’s campaign in 2015 in war against corruption seem to have been more helpless in tackling acts of corruption, including those involving his allies and relations. This is most unfortunate.

Instances of stealing at the state and local government level are even more mind boggling. And we can not halt these by pretending to be seeking solutions to such.

When therefore the leadership of House of Representatives announced suspension of all investigative and committee hearings till after its annual vacation, Nigerians feel that the issue of Nigerians Delta Development Commission (NDDC) probe as well as other probes going on at the National Assembly, signals end of probes on those institutions.

The AUTHORITY notes that abandoning such important assignments is in itself a huge act of corruption. When acts of corruption are not treated as they should be, but allowed to fester, so long shall the country continue to witness the level of decay in accountability we are witnessing and so long shall Nigeria continue to move in the reverse gear.

Not doing proper things are most unfortunate and must be stopped. It is crime against unborn Nigerian children. The stupendous affluence exhibited by our political leaders and privileged civil servants from stolen fund do not provide room for cheer at all. It is worse because they ate bragging on stolen commonwealth, with the sin crying to heaven for vengeance.

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