NLC, TUC Seek Capital Punishment For Corrupt Govt Officials | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NLC, TUC Seek Capital Punishment For Corrupt Govt Officials

Posted: Sep 9, 2015 at 12:52 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• To Visit NASS, EFCC, Thursday

By Innocent Oweh,


The nation’s labour movements, under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), on Tuesday expressed support for the Federal Government’s anti-graft policy.

They urged the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to ensure capital punishment for public officials found guilty of corrupt charges, lamenting the growing phenomenon in Nigeria where workers are owed salaries for several months, particularly at the state and local council levels.

This, they blamed on widespread corruption, arguing that if countries like China and Singapore had the courage to adopt capital punishment, it could also be tenable in Nigeria.

Addressing a joint press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, both unions said plans had been finalised to stage a mass rally in support of the government’s current effort at putting corruption under checks.

The rally which is scheduled for tomorrow in Abuja, would see workers in both the formal and informal sectors storming the National Assembly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), to express support for the anti-corruption drive of President Buhari.

Speaking, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, regretted that what had been corruptly siphoned out of the  national treasury over the years was mind-boggling, noting that the rally became necessary to enable labour demonstrate its abhorrence of such massive theft.

TUC President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, also advocated the creation of a special anti-corruption court to try corrupt leaders and that both labour centres were ready to collaborate with the National Assembly to actualise it.

Kiagama commended the President Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, for publicly declaring their assets recently, urging that it should become a norm for all public officials irrespective of class or status.

He equally called for the abolition of joint state and local government account, as it was a veritable source through which funds meant for grassroots development are frittered away.

“In the twilight of the administration of the last regime, there were allegations by no less a person than the former Governor of the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria), Lamido Sanusi Lamido (now Emir Muhammadu Sanusi of Kano) that billions of dollars reportedly was unaccounted for by the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation). This led to his eventual suspension from office as CBN Governor.

“NEITI indicated losses due to crude oil swaps to subsidy and domestic crude allocation from 2005 to 2012, showing that $11.63 billion had been paid to the NNPC, but that “there is no evidence of the money being remitted to the federation account”. NEITI also discovered that another $11.6 billion was missing from Nigeria’s LNG company dividend payment.

“In the words of President Buhari recently, ‘for millions wallowing in want and diseases, corruption is a major reason why they cannot go to school, why they cannot be gainfully employed and why there are few doctors, nurses and drugs in hospitals and health centres,” Labour added.

The TUC boss also spoke of the need to put a new sheriff in place to combat this hydra-headed evil, as it has become very necessary, hence the support by the labour movement to stamp out corruption and advocate good governance.

“We advocate that all funds identified to have been illegally taken from the common treasury are traced and recovered fully, to be kept in a special account and appropriated for job creation, funding of educational infrastructure from primary to tertiary institutions, and for upgrading of our health care infrastructure.

“Our call for the establishment of special anti-corruption courts to try corruption cases in the country is germane, realising that those who have looted our treasury have become adept at using the loopholes in the procedure of regular courts to delay and in several cases subvert the course of justice.

“It is our firm belief that the enactment of special anti-graft courts akin to the electoral tribunals, complete with timeframe within which cases once started are to be concluded, will give a renewed impetus to the fight against corruption.  For this to become a reality, the executive and the National Assembly must work together to give us the necessary laws for an enduring fight to defeat this national malaise,” TUC boss said.

He said the effect of corruption can be summarised in the following phrase of President Buhari: “Corruption will kill Nigeria, unless we kill corruption.”