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Stakeholders Express Optimism On State Anti-Graft Says, EFCC, ICPC burdened

As parts of efforts to ensure grassroots input in the proposed law to tackle corruption in the grassroots in Oyo state, various groups and associations who submitted memoranda at the hearing were positive on the need for the establishment of the agency in the state.

The Oyo state House of Assembly on Wednesday held a public hearing on the Oyo State Anti – Corruption Agency Bill, 2019 proposed by Governor Seyi Makinde.

While presenting their memorandum, the representative of ICPC, Mrs. Adeoluwa, said the commission supported the initiative, adding that the Constitution of the country enables a state to abolish any means of corruption in its jurisdiction, adding that the agency should not restrict its activities to public offices alone but to private individuals and firms.

The ICPC representative also charged the agency to create more room for confidentiality in the identity of personnel and whistle-blowers to aid their safety and job security.

Also Read: Buhari Orders Forensic Audit Of NDDC Activities

A representative of the Commissioner of Police, SP Funke Fawole of the Legal Department, Iyaganku, State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) advised that the Chairman of the Agency should be appointed by the state Governor after an earlier approval by the House of Assembly.

She added that the Chairman should not assume office until he or she declares his/her assets at the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The Police representative stressed the need for the creation of a head office and branches in all the 33 local governments of the state.

In his contributions, the Auditor-General of the state, Mr Gafar Bello urged the agency to organise public enlightenment to sensitise people on the roles and activities of the Agency.

The Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Finance and Appropriation, Mr  Kehinde Olatunde, said the establishment of the anti-graft agency is necessary because the nation’s anti-graft agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the  Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) are overburdened with too many cases, particularly at the Federal and state level.

The lawmaker maintained that the anti-corruption bill, if passed will ensure probity, transparency, accountability and prudence in the management of public funds by managers in various government Ministries, Departments and Agencies at the state level.

According to him, “We need another anti-graft agency because EFCC and ICPC are overburdened and they cannot get to the grassroots. They have too much work. Some cases are still pending with the agencies.

“This is why we need our own agency to bring efficiency to the fight against corruption. The state agency will get to the grassroots. We know one another very well.   Also, it is to bring transparency to governance and public administration.

“Governor Seyi Makinde wants transparency, that is why he said he didn’t mind waiving his immunity to be the first to appear before the agency if need be”.

The parliamentarian who represents Akinyele state constituency 1 added that periodic public hearing of activities of the Assembly shows a clear demonstration of the visionary ideology of the Assembly.

In his remark, Speaker Adebo Ogundoyin maintained that the anti-graft agency would be a replica of the Federal Anti – Corruption Agencies such as the EFCC and ICPC.

He commended the decision of Governor Makinde to replicate the anti-graft agency at the state level.

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Raji Adebayo, Ibadan

Editor, South-West, Lagos Post Online Email: raji_adebayong@yahoo.com M: 08034094059

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