The pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, on Monday called for strict sanction regimes if the country is to win the war against corruption.
This is just as he called for the phasing out of security votes, abolition of cash transactions, an end to subsidies and criminalization of extra-budgetary spending.
The former EFCC chair, however, said the police, the judiciary and the entire justice sector require comprehensive reforms to make the anti-graft campaign a reality.
Ribadu made the submissions in a lecture at the 2016 Annual National Management Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Although he said leadership and transparency measures were vital to anti-corruption crusade, strict sanction regimes would make the war winnable.
He said: “The first two steps (leadership and transparency measures) in cutting down cases of corruption cannot address it all. And that is why we need strict sanction regimes. Persons who are found to have infringed on the laws by helping themselves to what is for the overall good of the rest of the citizens must be made to pay direly for their actions.
“In driving this, there should be keen commitment from the political leadership, in addition to competence and integrity of the drivers of the process.
“First step in achieving this is to push for immediate and comprehensive reforms in the justice sector. These reforms should cover the entire justice sector chain: the police, judiciary, ministries of justice, prisons and other reformatory institutions. This is an absolute prerequisite for the success of any anti-corruption campaign.
“As is often said, our laws may not be faulty, but operators of the system are likely to be. To fight corruption, the umpire has to be clean, honest and sincere.
“Dishonesty cannot fight dishonesty; if you are corrupt you cannot lead successful anti-corruption campaign. Having a corrupt person pretending to fight corruption only creates confusion”.