President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to take a critical look at the cost of governance in the country with a view to weeding out corruption it breeds.
The President, who hosted members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today, October 10 acknowledged the commitment of the members and sacrifice they have made in accepting the assignment to serve the country.
“Some of the elite won’t trust you, and you will be alienated, no matter how close you are to them.”
Buhari recalled the experience of the past, in which assets were seized from officials who couldn’t explain how they got them, “only for those assets to be returned to them when government was changed.”
He vowed that such would no longer happen, adding that he had given instructions that all forfeited assets be sold, and the money put in the Treasury Single Account.
“Let’s see who will now take back the money from the treasury, and give back to those people, as was done in the past.”
This was even as the Chairman of PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay said that Nigeria is lucky more than ever to have a person of President Buhari’s credentials as leader of government.
“We congratulate you for being a star of the anti-corruption struggle in Africa. You attach a lot of importance to the fight against corruption, and we have tried to achieve the aims you had in mind when you established PACAC.”
Prof Sagay said that the committee trains and builds capacity of anti-corruption agencies, and that it also helps to develop a programme of non-conviction assets recovery, which is recording great successes.
PACAC made some recommendations to the President for the purpose of moving the anti-corruption war many steps forward.
They include, reestablishment of the jury system for criminal cases in the country; setting up of a judicial commission on corruption in the judiciary, to be headed by retired judges under the auspices of National Judicial Council (NJC); passage of Proceeds of Crime Act by the National Assembly; the setting up of a Presidential Truth and Restitution Task Force; and a closer look at the cost of governance to weed out all vestiges of corruption.