A professor in the department of law at Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, has claimed that the problem of corruption in Nigeria has not improved under the President Bola Tinubu administration, but has in fact gotten worse.
Professor Ifeolu Koni made the remarks in his inaugural lecture series titled, “The Hypocrisy of International Cooperation on the War against Corruption and Abuse of Office in Africa: A Case Study of Nigeria” delivered on Thursday.
Koni said that the poor in Nigeria are suffering the most from the government’s corruption, as they are forced to pay for the sins of corrupt leaders.
“The situation has got so bad now that the poor can hardly breathe as they are being forced to pay for the sins of the invisible…,” said the varsity don who also criticized the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) for not doing enough to hold countries accountable for their failure to repatriate stolen assets.
Koni called for the UNCAC to be amended to include new provisions on sanctions for countries that fail to meet their obligations under the convention.
According to the professor, the African Union needs to adopt measures to hold its member states accountable for their anti-corruption commitments.
“It is sad to note that since political power returned to the civilians in May 1999, the country’s corruption status has continued (to worsen). From retired General Olusegun Obasanjo to Yaradua/Jonathan; to another retired General Muhammadu Buhari; and the new government of Bola Tinubu, the narrative has remained unchanged.
“The situation has got so bad now that the poor can hardly…”
He opined that the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has done well by devoting chapter V of its framework for International cooperation for purposes of prevention, detection, confiscation, and recovery of proceed of crime, saying “if carefully and honestly implemented, it can go a long way to curb money laundering and other transitional financial crimes and corrupt practices.”
On his recommendation for amendment of the UNCAC, Koni said: “The purpose of the amendment should be to include a new chapter on sanctions or consequences of non-fulfillment of the obligations of a State Party under the Convention. Presently, there are no sanctions attached to infractions or breaches of a State Party’s obligations.
“The African Union should also look inwards and adopt measures from time to time to review her commitment to the obligations imposed on its Member States under both the UNCAC and African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.
“The continent should also take steps to amend its mainstream anti-corruption instrument by inserting a provision for sanctions on any Member State that fails or refuses to honour her obligations under the AU Convention, particularly those bordering on illegal funds transfer within and outside the continent.”
‘The Poor Can Hardly Breathe’ — Professor Tells Tinubu is first published on The Whistler Newspaper