Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday urged Nigerians to stop celebrating treasury looters..The admonition is coming weeks after the ancient town of Oghara in Ethiope West local Government Area of Delta was in a carnival mood on as former governor James Ibori arrived home after being deported to Nigeria on the completion of his jail term in a UK prison.
To Osinbajo, it is unfortunate that someone accused of corruption is celebrated in his hometown because people believe he has taken his share of the national cake.
Speaking generally,peharps not with only Ibori in mind,he said“Today someone who is corrupt is celebrated. There is a problem that we must resolve, and if we don’t resolve it, it will hurt us very, very badly, just as it is hurting us already,” he said.
Osinbajo said the best way to win the war against corruption is to study the models used elsewhere and adopt them.
The Acting President spoke while opening a two-day National Dialogue on Corruption, organised by the Office of the Vice President in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC).
Osinbajo said corruption fighting back was not peculiar to Nigeria, adding that the country “cannot survive with the type of corruption we have”.
According to him, corruption thrives where it is allowed to thrive.
“When the very best people say that there is no consequence of bad actions, they suddenly turn bad,” he said.
The Acting President recalled that when he initiated reforms in the Lagos judiciary as Attorney-General in 1999 aimed at curbing corruption, he was accused of ethnicity and witchhunt, but was not deterred.
Among the problems he addressed, he said, was the mode of appointment of judges that was based on “man-know-man”, as well as welfare, as judges were then paid N67,000, which could not meet their basic needs.
He said where there were issues of corruption against judges, petitions were sent directly to the National Judicial Council (NJC) and followed up.
The reforms, he said, led to the sack of 22 corrupt magistrates and three judges within one year. A 2006 survey showed zero percent corruption in the judiciary, as against 89 per cent in 2006.
“It was because a system was in place and impunity was not allowed. It is important that we put in place models that will work.