Anti-Corruption: AFRICMIL, Yar’Adua Foundation Unveil Whistleblowing Platform

A non-governmental organization, the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), has launched a public platform for reporting corruption in Nigeria.
The platform tagged Corruption Anonymous (CORA), which was developed in collaboration with the Yar’Adua Foundation, is a secured whistleblowing tool that allows individuals to report corrupt activities in the public sector using technology.
The official launching of the CORA platform was attended by the Progressive Impact Organisation for Community Development (PRIMORG) in Abuja.
The Coordinator of AFRICMIL, Dr. Chido Onumah, stated at the event that the goal of the project is to have a citizenry that is sensitive and aware of its role in fighting corruption, as well as understand that the fight against corruption is not one to be left for the government alone.
Onumah stressed that the anti-corruption technology would serve as an invaluable tool that would fill the gap in the disclosure channels, which have made fighting corruption through whistleblowing a challenging exercise for citizens.
The “CORA platform will complement the government’s whistleblowing platform managed by PICA and make it much easier for citizens to submit tips anonymously, without fear of being exposed and confident that the tips will be treated,” he said.
He lauded the MacArthur Foundation for supporting the establishment of the CORA platform.
In his remark, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami commended the initiative, noting that it is in consonant with the government’s objectives.
Malami, who was represented by a Special Adviser to the President on Anti-Corruption, Abiodun Aikomo, said the Ministry of Justice had identified corruption as a major problem the nation is facing and that the office of the attorney general of the federation of Nigeria has done a lot of things in the furtherance of the anti-corruption war.
Disclosing the efforts of the Ministry in tackling corruption, Aikomo said, “the Ministry has drafted executive orders number 6, 8, and 10, which all have anti-corruption implications. Order 6 reserves assets connected to corruption, anyone involved in a vice-related case will have the fund involved frozen, thus has led to a phenomenal increase in acquisition success rate.
“The Ministry has designed a broad anti-corruption policy framework for international and national corporations in the recovery of stolen assets, established the assets recovery and management unit at the ministry of justice, and has been coordinating the implementation of federal government recovery assets.
“They have been prosecuting corruption-related offences on behalf of the federal government, preventing the commission of corruption through effecting enforcement of mechanisms like single treasury accounts and continuous cleanup of the payroll which have legal implications and enforced zero tolerance of corrupt practices by holding high profile citizens responsible,” Aikomo stated.
The Spokesperson at the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission, Azuka Ogugua, while underscoring the importance of the CORA platform, said the edge the whistleblowing policy has over other reporting platforms was the financial incentive that was attached to it.
She lamented that there is a general culture of Nigerians not exposing someone even if the person is doing something wrong, which has also affected the rate at which people blow the whistle.
“Blowing the whistle needs to be expanded beyond the financial aspect, and there is a need to look at why citizens are not blowing the whistle and address the issue,” Ogugua stressed.
On her part, Senior Programme Officer, MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Amina Salihu, lauded AFRICMIL and Yar’Adua Foundation for using technology to fight corruption in the country while commending members of the civil society organization for having faith in Nigeria.
Salihu urged that platforms be created to accommodate Nigerians who do not have access to technology to report corruption while commending Nigerians who have their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and are ready to perform their civic responsibilities in the 2023 general elections.
The Federal Government introduced a whistleblowing policy in Nigeria to encourage people to voluntarily disclose information about fraud, bribery, looted government funds, financial misconduct, government assets, and any other form of corruption or theft to Nigeria’s Federal Ministry Of Finance.
PRIMORG has been collaborating with AFRICMIL and other like-minded organizations in the advocacy to increase whistleblowing awareness and to evolve a legal framework to protect whistleblowers.

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