The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has lamented that high profile corruption cases are being stalled by the judiciary.
CISLAC’s Senior Program Officer Okeke Anya, while reacting to the recent ranking of Nigeria by Transparency International on the global corruption index which shows that perception of corruption in Nigeria has worsened between 2016 and 2017 with Nigeria ranked 148 out of 180 countries assessed in 2017, said it was worrisome.
“On the African continent, Nigeria ranks 32nd in Africa out of 52 assessed countries in 2017. While Botswana leads the continent with the record of competent and largely corruption-free public administration, Nigeria falls with 27 points hopelessly behind. In West Africa, Nigeria ranks out of 17 countries second worst leaving only Guinea Bissau behind.
“Since the current administration has come to power on the anti-corruption ticket, no significant politically exposed person has been duly sentenced on anti-corruption charges. CISLAC notes that anti-corruption agencies have accelerated the rate of convictions on anti-corruption charges. The EFCC for example has in 2016/17 brought 286 cases to conviction. However, the majority are rather insufficient cases with little impact of returned assets into the state budget and no effect on unfavourable public opinion.
“There is a reason to suspect that judiciary is either not able or willing to prosecute the VIP cases of senior public servants and elected politicians who have either directly plundered lucrative Nigerian state resources or are at least responsible for the catastrophic lack of oversight over public funds as mandated by the Constitution,” he said.
He regretted that political corruption, nepotism, favoritism and bribery still persists in Nigeria at all levels.