The Federal Government is to revisit high-profile anti-corruption cases, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) said yesterday. There will be a scale-up of advocacy against corruption in private sectors and professional associations as part of efforts to fight corruption next year.
PACAC’s Executive Secretary Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye spoke yesterday at a news conference in Lagos to unfold the panel’s plans. He reviewed activities of the committee in the last one year.
According to Owasanoye, PACAC will scale up anti-corruption advocacy through engagement of civil society organisations, citizens and state and local governments.
On plea bargain, he said: “No government has the capacity to prosecute all manner of offences; that is the reason there is a legal framework for plea bargain.
“The plea bargain is not a trade off, but has been set up with other guidelines to refrain suspects from perceiving it as an outlet for easy escape.
“The Administration of Criminal Justice Act is meant to resolve challenges in the criminal justice system; if it is failing, then it is as a result of implementation.’’
He stressed the need to further build capacities of ministries, departments and agencies as well as the judiciary, on money laundering and asset recovery.
Owasanoye said PACAC would track high-profile cases and ensure improved application of sanctions.
“We intend to revisit some high-rofile corruption cases, such as Halliburton, and see them to a logical conclusion,’’ he said.
He listed public apathy and elite complicity as some challenges PACAC had in the last one year.
According to him, poor economy, ineffective application of preventive measures and negative use of constitution can aid corruption.
The executive secretary called for improved collaboration of all arms of government in fighting corruption.
PACAC member Prof. Etannibi Alemika stressed the need to evaluate and enhance capacities of agencies fighting corruption.
He said Nigerians must give informed reports on corruption.
According to Alemika, journalists and civil society organisations can create more public awareness on consequences of corruption.
“Nigerians must learn to get the narrative back to behaviour,’’ he said.