The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has applauded the anti-graft agencies, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) over conspiracy and fraud allegation of the immediate-past Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and five others.
In a release issued by its Media and Publications Officer, Toyin Odofin on behalf of the Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran he stated “vividly we would note that on January 30, Offem Uket alleged that Lawal conspired with a director and staff in Rholavision Engineering Ltd, Hamidu David Lawal and Suleiman Abubakar, to fraudulently acquire a property and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 26(1)(c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 12 of the same Act. One of the charge accused Hamidu, Abubakar and Rholavision to have abet the award of contract to Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N6.4million by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE). Also, count 9 of the charge accused Hamidu to have “abet the holding indirectly of a private interest by Engineer Babachir Lawal in the award of contract to Josmon Technologies Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) to the tune of N272.5million.”
However, the report has it that early this year President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the prosecution of Babachir Lawal for allegedly misappropriating the funds allocated to people displaced by Boko Haram insurgency.
“It is in realization of the unimaginable damage and social destruction that grand corruption could actually cause that some countries like China and Pakistan have deemed it fit to introduce death penalty against official corruption for any of its government official to serve as a worthy deterrent. This has, no doubt, discouraged grand corruption even if it has not succeeded in totalling eliminating it. Though we may not fully subscribe to the death penalty as a human rights’ anti-corruption organization for its obvious violation to citizens’ rights’ to life, the main issue is that the law against corruption must be seen to be absolutely effective against all known violators, no matter how highly placed the culprits are. This is where we think the current government’s fight against corruption must be reviewed towards better effectiveness to make any tangible impact.
The CACOL Boss added “It is against this background that many of our economy watchers, without and within the country, advocated for more stringent punishments and sanctions against those looters and thieves who continually perpetrate these heists with the belief that grand corruption is still a bailable offence in Nigeria and so, they could easily get away with it.”