Executive Secretary of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye says that as at October 2017 over 5000 whistles have been blown since the introduction of the whistle blower initiative on various suspected cases of corruption in Nigeria.
Prof. Owasanoye said this on Thursday in Abuja at a conference on “Tracking Noxious Funds”, hosted the Kent Law School, University of Kent, and sponsored the MacArthur Foundation with the Institute of International Education (IIE) in conjunction with Corner House, Global Witness, Finance Uncovered and Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA).
Speaking on “Law and Practice of the Whistle Blower Policy of Nigeria; Scope of Citizens’ Participation”, he said the citizens had the responsibility to ensure that governments acted rightly, while also reporting crimes.
Prof. Owasanoye, who said the whistle blower initiative was also designed to improve government revenues, added that the officials of the government agencies involved in the implementation of the policy would not benefit from the reward for the whistleblowers to encourage the citizens.
He lauded the setting the inauguration of the Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets within and outside the country President Muhammadu Buhari.
Meanwhile, the human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, in his keynote address, said any forms of failure on the part of government to arrest the former Director-General of the Department of State Services, Ita Ekpeyong and a former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, who had refused to report for questioning over corruption allegations, would send a wrong signal.
Falana said the two ex-government officials could be prosecuted for resisting their arrest after the anti-graft body had obtained a warrant of arrest, citing the provisions of the administration of Criminal Justice Law which barred any move to frustrate the rule of law.
The acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, expressed hope that the conference would come up with more ideas that would aid the fight against corruption.
Earlier in his welcome address, Olanrewaju Suraju, noted that the process of asset recovery had been successful locally, with more efforts being made to recover those outside the country with the support of international community.