'Kill Corruption, Save Nigeria's Soul' - Osinbajo
The soul of Nigeria seems to have been cast on a balance between death and life.
Corruption on one hand and charitable deeds on the other.
But it appears the ruling All Progressives Congress seems to know that most Nigerians easily choose to get entangled in corrupt activities.
Even the President was aware of this when he said: "If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria".
The current administration has consistently put the fight against corruption in the fore-front and that was part of the demand that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, made on Wednesday when he addressed judges.
"If you look at the extent of damage caused by corruption it surely is a crime against humanity,” Professor Osinbajo told members of the judicial arm of government while emphasising that the fight against corruption is a fight that all must engage in patriotically.
"This is a collaborative venture of all, and the executive, judiciary and legislature must see this as a fight for the soul of our nation,” he said in his speech at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop for justices and judges, organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja.
The Vice President highlighted that the current administration is re-jigging the entire system.
"The Chief Justice of the Federation has laid down the rules and he has encouraged everyone to follow suit.
"There is no question at all that this is the time for us to open a new page in the entire anti-corruption fight,” he stressed.
Osinbajo hailed the Chief Justice of Nigeria's new initiatives and the practice directions issued by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in the Administration of Justice Act.
Methods Of Investigation And Trial
He further commended the recent Supreme Court's decision which stopped the dilatory tactics of staying proceedings in criminal cases on account of interlocutory applications.
Osinbajo observed that all the nations that succeeded in winning the war against graft had to change their administration of justice system.
"Investigations must be conducted properly and thoroughly, not on the pages of newspapers, but before cases go to court, so that when such cases reach the court; what is presented will be the best possible case that the prosecution can present.
"Most of the countries that have successfully dealt with corruption have had to dispense with needless technicality and focused on the offence.
"In the case of public officers, they recognise that there can be no real explanation for a public officer whose pay is public knowledge to have cash and assets several times more than his earnings, let alone his savings.
"If somebody earns in excess of what he should possibly even save in several lifetime, freeing him technically can never make sense.
"It will always seem that something has gone wrong with the system,” he told the members of the judicial arm of government.
The Vice President also noted that most countries recognised that even the whole process of decision making must make sense “otherwise it would undermine the very fundamentals of judiciary and justice".
"If the fundamental of justice is undermined, everything is undermined, he added.