By Oladapo Okeowo
The federal government has been advised to extend the reach of its whistleblower policy to include documents pointing to monies not kept outside financial institutions.
This advice was given by renowned human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) while addressing newsmen in his Ilawe Ekiti country home on Sunday.
The legal luminary said the FG’s whistleblower policy is a step in the right direction but it must be robust enough to not just be limited to exposing locations where questionable monies belonging to the people are hidden.
He said it should also be extended to exposing documents capable of leading to the tracking of non-liquid cash kept in various financial institutions in Nigeria and abroad.
Falana opined that such an extension would, apart from giving the policy credibility, aid the exposure of incurably hardened criminals.
Pointing to a recent report by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Initiative, (NEITI), he said the president has to check the veracity of the claims of reckless financial transactions carried out by some government agencies.
Falana, however, cautioned against seeking capital punishment for anyone found guilty of a criminal offence.
This position is a reiteration of the same he took in the matter of the Lagos state government and inmates on death row in the state’s prison.
According to him, that option is not available to the government anymore. This is by virtue of the Constitution and charters to which Nigeria is a signatory.
The option open to the government is sentencing a criminal to life behind bars and confiscation of all property proven to be proceeds from the crime committed.
This, he said, extends to men of the military who have been earmarked for execution by one military court or the other.
“I make bold to say there is no crime that is as heinous as diverting monies meant for the procurement of arms for use by troops fighting enemies of the nation, or monies meant for construction of roads or building of hospitals.
“This is because those who will die as a result of such deliberate acts of wickedness will be more than those killed by highway robbers and insurgents”, he said.