The Chairman, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Suraju Olanrewaju has renewed calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently revisit the list of 25 top corruption cases linked with stolen or mismanaged funds worth N900 billion overlooked under his watch.
HEDA had earlier written a letter to President Buhari and warned that the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria was undermined and sabotaged by some of his appointed officials and that the volume of money linked to the ignored corruption cases since 2015 was alarming.
Olanrewaju restated the call on Wednesday during a radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, in Abuja.
He stressed that there is a need for an urgent reawakening of the Buhari’s administration to sincerely pursue their self-professed cardinal agenda of fighting corruption which is now facing self-destruction.
According to him, Buhari’s sudden loss of steam in the fight against corruption could either be that the President is completely weak now, or he has been captured by some other forces that are ultimate beneficiaries of corrupt situations and practices or that he is not genuinely committed to the fight against corruption.
Olarenwaju also revealed that the interventions of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation on corruption cases were sabotaging the fight against corruption.
His words: “It is really very unfortunate that an office which was meant to coordinate the anti-corruption effort of the government has been undermining not just the effort of the government but the effort of the anti-graft agencies.
“If you look at the cases that were listed, three of them were actually cases and situations where the office of the Attorney General did not only interfere in the investigation process but went on to entirely stop the progress of prosecution.
“it is not just that the court failed to conclude high profile cases but the legal profession is failing woefully to bring Nigerian leaders to account.”
Olarenwaju, however, advised citizens to get fully on board in the fight against corruption while urging the media and civil society organization not to lose focus in holding governments accountable.
Similarly, Community Engagement Officer at Connected Development, CODE, Mukhtar Moddibbo averred that more citizens’ engagement and awareness of corruption reports will help in advancing the war against graft.
He stressed that the government’s approach to the anti-corruption fight cannot guarantee the desired result because citizens are not making enough demands and noted that trust was lacking between the Buhari-led administration and Nigerians with regards to fighting corruption.
“Government’s pattern is making accountability an issue. President Buhari should make the fight against corruption a top priority, there should be political will from the government to fight this corruption and they should make information available for citizens to help them fight corruption,” Moddibbo advised.