Former Chairman of the Economic Financial and Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, has called on the federal government to properly ‘sanitise’ the judicial system for its anti-corruption campaign to yield little result.
Ribadu said this on Friday during a convocation lecture at the Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina state.
He said cleansing the judiciary should be the first move and fighting corruption is a matter of life or death which if not won, could deprive the nation of needed development.
According to him, it is a fight that should be relentless, ruthless and holistic.
“A major step towards attaining result in the fight against corruption is by first cleaning up our entire justice sector. There would only be limited or no success in the anti-corruption campaign if the justice system is not properly sanitised to shoulder that important responsibility,” Says Ribadu.
“Fighting corruption is an existential fight; it is one that we have to win or die trying. Corruption deprives the society of development and further impoverishes the poor. It is, therefore, one fight that should be relentless, ruthless & holistic.”
He added that,“For a long time, security, in concrete and abstract terms has been used to conceal expenditures that are largely fraudulent or dubious. If we learn any lessons from the arms probe, is that not everything written in the name of security actually gets spent for the listed purpose.”
The former EFCC chairman, however, insisted that Nigerians must insist that whatever money being spent especially in the guise of security must be budgeted for in annual budgets for the purpose of transparency and accountability.
He said he once advocated for the establishment of a national charter and strategy for the fight against corruption expected to converge all layers of governance such that it would outline specific requirements, responsibilities, commitments and performance indicators.
Speaking on need for a centralised data system, Ribadu said the appropriate authority should set up data registry that would enable authorities have easy access on details of basic information of all citizens as well as records of financial transactions, tax records, assets, crime history, physical addresses among others stressing that it remains vital in fighting corruption and financial crimes.
“Data centre, which will house a beneficial ownership register, is the most important modern tool of following money, tracking transactions and information sharing among law enforcement and other agencies of government.”
He advised the populace to act as citizens and question the authorities in power rather than being spectators.