Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has said that Nigeria lacks an enabling environment and mechanism to fight and end corruption.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also said only Norway has been successful in creating ”an enabling environment for fighting corruption.”
Falana said this in an interview with journalists on Tuesday, at the one-day National Democracy Day Anti-corruption Summit organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.
The summit themed, “Curbing Electoral Spending: A Panacea For Public Corruption”, held at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel.
The event was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari; the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Attahiru Jega; Foreign Mission Ambassadors to Nigeria; Nigerian state governors and some of their predecessors, former ministers, military and paramilitary chiefs, among many others.
According to Falana, instead of fighting corruption, the country should be fighting impunity.
He explained that when there is a rule of law the country does not have to celebrate the fight against corruption.
”If you understand the message of President Kagame of Rwanda, there is no way you can fight corruption without addressing wealth creation, without opportunities given to the people,” he said.
”What is also important is that the government also has to create an enabling environment for fighting corruption, and the best country that has done that is Norway.
”It is very difficult to win the war against corruption, the enabling environment is not there,” Falana explained.
”You may just end up preaching to yourself, and secondly because to be a top to bottom approach, the leaders must show an example, must also demonstrate that they are committed to fighting corruption.
”When you take money meant for a hospital, arms and ammunition and the rest of them, you are breaching the rule of law; so if we have the laws firmly in place, we do not have to waste time.”
He advised the government to first address the basic needs of its citizens before fighting corruption.