Monday, 29 April 2013
The Police Service Commission has dismissed an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Fausat Oduwole for extorting N21.6m from police sergeants who wrote promotion examinations in one of the police colleges in the country.
Oduwole, who was dismissed by the commission at its 35th plenary meeting in Abuja on April 3,2013 was found to have collected the illegal levy from the police officers to enable them to get promotion.
The commission’s axe also fell on Chief Superintendent of Police, Olusegun Fabunmi, who shot dead one Ademola Aderinto at Yaya Abatan Street,Ogba, Lagos during the fuel subsidy protest in January 2012.
Fabunmi, the Divisional Police Officer, Pen Cinema,’ Police Division was dismissed from the Force for acts unbecoming of a senior police officer.
The former DPO is being prosecuted for murder by the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender at a Lagos High Court.
Other officers that were sacked by the PSC commissioners whose tenure ended on April 11, included a Superintendent, an Assistant Superintendent, and a Deputy Superintendent of Police for acts unbecoming of senior police officers.
Chief Information Officer of the PSC, Ferdinand Ekpe, confirmed to our correspondent on Wednesday that Oduwole and Fabunmi were among the officers that were sanctioned by the commission.
Meanwhile, there were indications on Wednesday that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has opposed request by the Bayelsa State Police Command to conduct a mass burial for the 12 policemen killed by gunmen in the state two weeks ago.
Our correspondent gathered that some senior police officers in the command had advised that the policemen should be given a mass burial since their remains were burnt beyond recognition.
But Abubakar was said to have kicked against the idea, insisting that a medical examination must be conducted on the mutilated bodies to ascertain their identities.
A senior police officer told our correspondent that the IG had already sent a team of qualified pathologists to conduct the examination.
The officer, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the medical team was headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
“The IG has ordered medical investigations to know the identities of persons killed by the gunmen. The IG is against burying them in a mass grave despite the fact that their bodies were burnt beyond recognition,” the source said.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, said the command had insisted that the victims deserved a befitting burial.
Akhigbe in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said, “I am in Uyo for a programme. But before I left arrangements were on top gear to receive the pathologists. I don’t know whether they have come.”
An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Chike Nwibe, on Wednesday told the Federal High Court, Abuja that a former Works Minister, Hassan Lawal, misappropriated N6.4bn for Brutu and Bagana bridges contracts.
The EFCC, on May 11, 2011, had arraigned Lawal, alongside 14 others, for alleged fraudulent award of contracts, money laundering and embezzlement of funds for projects in Kogi and Nasarawa states.
Lawal is standing trial on charges of N24.3bn contract scam.
Charged with him are Adeogba Ademola, Digital Toll Company Ltd; Swede Control Interlink Ltd; Proman Vital Ventures Ltd; Nairda Ltd; Siraj Nigeria Ltd; and Wise Health Services Ltd.
Others are Dave Enejoh, Okala Yakubu, Thahal Paul, George Elzogbi, Abbey Ayodele and GIS Transport Ltd.
Nwibe, during cross-examination, said an investigation carried out by the EFCC showed that N6.4bn was the actual figure received by the contractors of the N24.3bn contract sum.
He alleged that of the figure, Lawal authorised the payment of N3bn in 2009.
He said, “I do not think it is correct to say that payment of over N4.5bn was made before 2009 when Lawal became a minister.
“We went on-the-spot assessment of the contract site and found that the extent of work was not commensurate with the amount paid.
“The work done was about 30 per cent of the sum collected. The assessment was based on our projection and according to experts.”
Thursday, 25 April 2013
By Hajia Sani
Corruption is a global phenomenon, widely defined as the abuse of public office for private gain. It is a malaise that has contempt for due process and the rule of law, distorts the allocation of resources, undermines competition in the market place and has a devastating effect on investment, growth and development.
Essentially, corruption denies citizens, especially the poor, access to vital basic services and erodes public confidence in political institutions. To varying degrees, a few countries have successfully managed to keep corruption in-check but the phenomenon continues to be a serious challenge in all countries, particularly in developing ones.
According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index of 2002, Nigeria was ranked as the most corrupt country in the world. Although Nigeria contested the controversial rating, it however strengthened its existing anti-corruption machinery. In recognition of Nigeria’s anti-corruption crusade, it was ranked one hundred and thirtieth on the Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index.
Nigeria instituted a comprehensive anti-corruption reform programme that emphasises fiscal, structural and institutional governance reforms, with the aim of improving transparency and tackling corruption. The reforms include the review of the public procurement process and institution of the due process mechanism in the award of public contracts.
It also involves the empowerment of a long list of anti-corruption agencies and establishments, like the Technical Unit on Governance & Anti-Corruption Reforms; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Bureau of Public Procurement; Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Code of Conduct Bureau; Public Complaints Commission and the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, among others. While the large number of anti-corruption agencies and the increasing number of convictions secured have boosted awareness of the problem, it has not served as a deterrent.
An inter-agency task team of these anti-corruption agencies, set up in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), ensures collaboration and co-operation amongst the various agencies. In addition, Nigeria is a signatory to several international conventions including the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AU Convention) and ECOWAS Protocol on the Fight against Corruption. The country also works with several development partners including the Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, the European Union and several others.
Internally, the country has embarked on several legislations to strengthen and bridge the gaps in the implementation of its anti-corruption and due process crusade. The Freedom of Information Bill, the Non-Conviction Based Asset Forfeiture Bill and the Anti-Terrorism Bill are all pending before the National Assembly for passage into law.
Furthermore, a working group has been set up by the Ministry of Justice to draft a Witness Protection Bill in collaboration with other relevant agencies, to ensure protection for witnesses and Whistle-blowers.
Now that necessary legislations have been put in place, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the process takes roots and become a way of life. Government must also ensure that corrupt officials are brought to book to serve as deterrent to others.