The Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW) says it has developed a portal that hosts information on grand corruption-related probes in the country made public between 1999 and 2022.A statement on Sunday by Mr Victor Agi, Head, Public Affairs, CeFTIW, stated that the effort was to deepen democracy and enhance transparency in the country’s democratic process.Agi said the portal would be unveiled for public viewing on Aug. 31 in Abuja.“We are therefore concerned, first and foremost about the abuse of constitutional processes in which case probe panels are constituted and abandoned halfway.Agi said that the move was also to draw the attention of all concerned stakeholders to the litany of abandoned probes for them to take advantage of the portal and data to demand transparency and accountability from the leaders.“One of the oversight functions performed by the three arms of government is the constitution of probe panels to check, investigate and scrutinise the actions and inactions of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and public office holders.“These probes are often also constituted to ensure that laws are adequately implemented, to curb power abuse and prevent public sector corruption.“The non-implementation of some probe committees’ reports in the country is a source of concern to the centre.“The continuous defiance of government institutions and public officers to extant laws in this regard will continue to weaken our democratic processes.He said it was common to come across media reports of probe panels constituted by different authorities across the three arms of government to investigate allegations of grand corruption and misconduct by public service holders.According to Inhim, in most cases, the probe panels have clear terms of reference, but Nigerians are left in the dark about their findings, actions and when their reports are concluded and submitted.He urged lawmakers at the federal and state Houses of Assembly to be diligent in their constitutional assignments, having derived their oversight powers from the 1999 Constitution in sections 88, 89, 128 and 129.“The Constitution empowers the National Assembly to set up investigative panels on any matter or thing with respect to which it has powers to make laws in order to expose corruption.“It also has powers to expose inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it“This is also true of the judiciary, led by the National Judicial Commission, which has also severally constituted probe panels as a self-cleansing mechanism to deter lawyers and legal practitioners from acting corruptly and punishing infractions.”He, however, urged the executive arm of government not to disregard sanctions and recommendations of probe panels in order not to make a charade of the constitutional process.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
A Nigerian, Mr Umar Yakubu has been elected to represent African Sub-Saharan region on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Coalition Board.Yakubu who is the Executive Director, Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW), was elected in the third round of the preferential vote in a highly competitive process.A statement issued on Thursday by Mr Victor Agi, Public Affairs Manager, CeFTIW, stated that the Centre had over the years championed advocacies to entrench the culture of transparency and integrity in the nation’s public sector.The Centre had also deployed technological solutions to promote accountability in the nation’s fight against corruption and strengthening of the criminal justice system.Agi stated that Yakubu’s election would bolster CeFTIW resolve to combat corruption and promote good governance in the country and across the sub-Saharan African sub-region.“The Center looks forward to working with other board members and global anti-corruption crusaders in the fight against corruption in whatever form, especially in the region”.On Yakubu’s new place of assignment (UNCAC), Agi stated that it is a global network of over 350 Civil Society organisations (CSOs) in over 100 Countries committed to promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption.With headquarters in Vienna, the Coalition was established in August 2006 to mobilise civil society actions for UNCAC at international, regional and national levels.In his new role, Yakubu is expected to take part in providing policy coordination and oversight of the work of the Secretariat.He will also take part in overseeing the development and implementation of the coalition’s strategy and promoting its activities and projects as well as helping to identify funding opportunities.He will also be part of the team communicating positions of the UN coalition to wider public audiences within sub-Saharan Africa. (
One non-governmental organization (NGO), the Sustainable Initiative to Encourage Growth (SING), Nigeria, has said that incidents of parties buying votes are capable of destroying the country's democracy if not nipped in the bud.
A statement issued on Saturday quoted Mr. Victor Agi, Communications Manager for SING Nigeria, as saying this at an event organized by the National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, to inform accredited observers of the concluded election for governor of Anambra. .
Agi said stakeholders must step up the campaign to end monetary policy, a process adopted to hijack the democratic process.
“The normalization of vote buying is concerning and should be addressed immediately.
“There was open support for the buying and selling of votes during the election; There was no resistance from the relevant authorities, including INEC and the security officials who also saw these incidents occur.
“As an organization, we are passionate about addressing the cost of politics and letting money determine the outcome of our elections.
"Politicians will continue to arm poverty to win elections if the stakeholders do not take decisive action to end monetary policy," Agi said.
The SING Nigeria Communication Manager also expressed concern about the continued low voter turnout relative to the cost of the elections.
He said; “We are concerned that INEC made preparations for more than 2.4 million voters in the recently concluded elections, for example, and ended up using approximately 10.4 percent of the electoral materials; what happens to the ballot papers that were not used. "
He also drew attention to indications that the spending limit of political parties during elections has been increased in the electoral bill now before the president for approval.
Agi noted that accommodating more spending in the electoral bill would lead to more incidents of buying and selling votes in future elections.
While addressing the previous session, Professor Kunle Ajayi, Commissioner / President of INEC, Election and Party Monitoring Committee (EPMC), said that the briefing was expected to deepen understanding of what is expected of accredited observers. .
In their various reports, the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were very unfavorable to the problems of the late arrival of electoral materials at the voting centers (poor organization of logistics), the failures of the Accreditation Systems of Bimodal Voters (BVAS), security management and poor coordination between INEC and observers. .
The session recommended that INEC should review and strengthen its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to address the logistics challenge, and that INEC should train personnel for effective deployment of BVAS in the future. elections.
The information session provided an opportunity for stakeholders, especially CSOs, to share their experiences and discuss the findings of the field observation.
It also gave them the opportunity to discuss with INEC how participation in electoral observation can sustain and add value to the nation's democracy.
It was also to clarify gray areas for future revision of the observation guidelines and to provide a common understanding on the way forward.