…to investigate, prosecute fraudulent political, public office holders in Oyo
Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has forwarded to the state House of Assembly, a whistle-blower bill which aims at exposing, investigating and prosecuting fraudulent public and political office holders.
The governor while declaring open Organizational Integrity Management Training Programme for the OYACA board members, management and staff, at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan said the law became imperative in order to checkmate fraudulent act in the state.
He said the passage of the Whistle-blower Bill into law would make investigation and prosecution of cases of corruption speedy and seamless.
Speaking through the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, he said that no provision in the OYACA laws would go against the dictates of the federal laws, as the case between Ondo State and the Attorney-General of the Federation was the watershed for the creation of the state anti-corruption laws.
According to him, ‘The constitutional competence of the state to fight corruption rested squarely in the provision of the law and there exists no provision in OYACA laws that tie the hands of any federal anti-corruption agency.
“OYACA law is consistent with the fundamental objectives of the federal laws, which are instruments created to fight graft and block loopholes where public resources are stolen or mismanaged.
“We appreciate the ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses) for this collaboration to stem the tide of graft in our society and cause a lot of loss to the government and the people of the State, there is also the urgent need to pass the whistle-blower bill into law to aid the speed and smoothness of investigation and prosecution”
In his charge, the Chairman, ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye said the judgement of the Supreme Court on Ondo State and the Attorney-General of the Federation has affirmed the power of ICPC to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption and state governments in Nigeria were not excluded from doing same, if the provisions in their anti-corruption laws do not negate that of the federal laws.
He charged the OYACA to be resolute in advancing the course of fighting graft and mismanagement of public resources, saying the work is tough and there would be many enemies against the agency.
He said, “Corruption is so systemic and endemic that I am persuaded that it is pertinent that states can also work in fighting this scourge, the need for fight to end corruption cannot be over-emphasized because corruption is debilitating to the progress and advancement of the state and Nigeria as a whole.
“This work is a tough nut to crack, you are not going to have many friends, but what do you care, if your interest is to serve the State and the people?’’
Also, the Chairman, OYACA, Hon. Justice Eni Esan, in her welcome address, appreciated the extension of hands of support from the Anti-corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), a sub-agency under the ICPC, located at Keffi, Nasarawa State.
She exuded joy at the collaboration, geared towards training board members and staffers of the agency and urged the trainees to make good use of the content of the workshop in order to enhance capacity of the personnel.
She appreciated Governor Makinde for reposing huge confidence in the agency and board members to win the fight against corruption in Oyo State.