BY PAUL MICHAEL
Imo chapter of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has appealed to officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Owerri, the state capital to eschew all forms of corrupt practices in the discharge of their duties especially during and after elections, in order to promote good governance in the country.
The appeal was made by Mrs. Chinwe Egbeocha, Assistant Director, ICPC at a sensitization program organized by the Commission for INEC management team at the INEC conference hall on Friday.
She posited that only free, fair, and credible elections in any society would guarantee good governance and economic development of that society.
She, therefore, called on INEC officials not to accept bribes or any type of inducement to influence any election because doing so would bring into power the wrong people, resulting in the masses not enjoying the dividends of democracy.
She urged the INEC management to establish a vibrant and functioning Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) to act as a watchdog against corruption, and an internal check mechanism to identify lapses in operational systems and establish processes that are transparent, accountable and free of unethical practices. She said the Unit should be composed of men and women of proven Integrity and impeccable character.
She further encouraged them to place charts and posters bearing anti-corruption slogans in strategic locations around the office premises to remind both staff and visitors that the organization is a corruption-free zone.
In his speech, the Resident Electoral Com missioner, Imo state, Prof. Chukwuemeka Francis Ezeonu welcomed the officers of the Commission and appreciated the effort of the ICPC in combating corruption through sensitization of the public.
He lamented that corruption has permeated every sector of the society and contributed to the underdevelopment and bad state of the economy, and advised all in attendance to put in practice what was taught because ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
He further advised that it was time we focused on re-establishing values and norms in all facets of the society, and promised to establish and empower ACTU to help eradicate incidences of corruption in INEC after consultation with their headquarters.
He also promised to produce and place at strategic positions posters and stickers bearing Anti-corruption messages to create awareness Contributing, the Administrative Secretary of INEC Imo state, Barr. T.O.N Ongele thanked the officers of ICPC for the sensitisation and declared that they have benefited a lot from the enlightenment programme.
He stated that INEC Imo state is corruptionfree and promised that they would organise a more robust sensitization program that would involve all staff of INEC including those from the local government areas so that everyone would benefit from the sensitization.