The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption PACAC says former President Goodluck Jonathan failed to tackle corruption. It said his administration fared worse than his predecessors in tackling official sleaze.
Executive Secretary, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye disclosed this in the report of activities from August 2015 to July 2016 presented to civil society organisations during an interactive session in Abuja Thursday.
“His tolerance of corruption was reflected in the sunset of activities of anti-corruption agencies under his watch and exponential increase of other vices no doubt fuelled by corruption.”
“For example, it is widely believed that insecurity escalated because of the massive embezzlement of $2billion through the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki.”
“The problems in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry reached zenith with multi-billion dollars subsidy scams while President Jonathan looked the other way.”
“Other vices spread like cancer – kidnapping, import duty waivers, financial recklessness, a profligate legislature, corrupt judiciary, etc. There was no single high profile conviction yet there were allegations of high profile corruption within his cabinet”
“Jonathan’s legendary comment that stealing is not corruption underscored his perspective on corruption. It remains a watershed in the history of anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria.”
PACAC Says N1.3trn Stolen Under Jonathan
The Committee also said about N1.3tn was stolen from the national treasury by just 55 people in 7 years of his administration. Using World Bank rates, it said one-third of the money could have provided 635.18 kilometers of roads, built 36 ultra-modern hospitals in each state, built and furnished 183 schools, educated 3,974 people from primary to tertiary level and built 20,062 units of two-bedroom houses.
PACAC said corruption is Nigeria’s greatest challenge and is directly associated with the current economic decline, poverty rates, reduced life expectancy, mortality and deteriorated living standards.
Owasanoye said due to corruption, a few Nigerians were richer than their states. Plea bargaining was abused as people who stole the country dry were given slaps on the wrist and asked to go home.
The committee noted that the crusade against corruption went comatose from 2007 largely due to leadership deficit
PACAC Takes Stand Against Corruption
He said PACAC has designed a Plea Bargain Manual which mandates custodial sentence for all those who plead guilty of looting after returning all they stole.
According to Owasanoye, it has developed other strategic documents and they have been adopted by the government. They Include a draft of National Anti-Corruption Action Plan and Strategy Document, Corruption Case Management Manual (full and abridged versions), Corruption Information/Intelligence Sharing Protocol, and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Corruption and other Related Economic Offences.
Others are the Strategic Communication Blueprint for FGN in the Fight Against Corruption, Assets Recovery Strategy Document, Framework for Management and Administration of Recovered Stolen Assets, Draft Bill and Explanatory Memorandum for the Establishment of Special Crimes Court, amongst others.