Corruption and Underdevelopment

Buhari makes case for establishment of Int’l anti-corruption court

By Paul Michael

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the establishment of an International Anti-Corruption Court to try offenders.

Buhari, who is the African Anti-Corruption Champion, made the call on Thursday in a recorded remark to mark the African Day of Anti-Corruption.

The president in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, urged African leaders to intensify the fight against corruption and create more disincentives for the pilfering of public funds.

He also commended African leaders for gains so far recorded and stressed that efforts must be intensified to prosecute offenders and collect resources that had been stored in other countries.

Buhari said, “Distinguished participants and fellow African leaders, corruption is evil and all efforts at tackling it are desirable. I have monitored the fight against corruption in Africa and I can see both successes and drawbacks. The battle must continue for the sake of the continent and its people no matter the difficulties.

“In Nigeria, the fight against corruption has been vigorous since 2015. A lot has been achieved in the areas of arrest, prosecution, conviction, asset recovery, and anti-corruption laws.

“I must admit that the fight has not been a bed of roses. Truly, a lot more work on many fronts is required. For example, civil and public servants must be ethical and professional at all times. The private sector must contribute to curbing corruption. The international community needs to close safe havens. The judiciary requires more impetus. Perhaps, an International Anti-Corruption Criminal Court is needed.”

Buhari also opined that family and religious values need to be upgraded, and charged schools to do more for a better society.

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“I am extremely delighted to address the participants as we celebrate the Africa Day of Anti-Corruption. Distinguished participants, we have come a long way in the fight against corruption in Nigeria and Africa in general.

“May I use this opportunity to appreciate fellow African leaders for their individual and collective efforts in fighting corruption on our continent. I appreciate all of you for the confidence reposed in me being the Africa Champion on Anti-Corruption.

“I understand that the theme for 2022 is ‘Strategy and Mechanisms for the Transparent Management of Covid-19 Funds, Lessons from the Pandemic.’ In Nigeria, we responded to the Covid-19 Pandemic swiftly, and having tamed it, we have realized the need for more awareness campaigns on health issues and more investment in the health sector. Again, service delivery requires checkmating corruption,” he added.

He also said that Anti-Corruption Agencies must be empowered and allowed to deliver on their mandates.

“In Nigeria, I am very proud of our Anti-Corruption Agencies, our law enforcement agencies, and our regulatory bodies for their efforts at checking criminality including corruption. I very deeply appreciate them for their sacrifices,” the President said.

President Buhari noted that the fight against corruption must be sustained for the benefit of present and future generations.

“Our youths have no place to go and live with dignity but in Africa. As I am leaving office next year, I am proud to leave behind a legacy of fighting corruption among others.

“Personally, I abhor corruption and I will render my best in or out of office to get rid of corruption in Nigeria and Africa in general. I urge our youths to join me in this noble cause,” he said.

He urged African leaders to work together at whatever level to get rid of corruption in Africa.

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