Claim: “Nigeria Has No Preventive Measures Against Corruption” says Sowore on the 15th of January 2019
Evidence: The Money Laundering (Prohibition Act), the ICPC Act, the EFCC Act, the Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution all prove that there are preventive measures against corruption in Nigerian law.
Conclusion: TOTALLY FALSE
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on January 15, 2018 held a debate on “Corruption and Accountability” at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja for six of the registered political parties. The parties were represented either by their presidential candidates or top-ranking members.
The six parties are: All Progressives Congress (APC), Africa Action Congress (AAC), Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) and Young Progressives Party (YPP). However, the APC was neither present nor represented at the debate.
The debate was monitored by Dubawa, and at the debate, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore said: “Nigeria has no preventive measures against corruption.“
VERIFYING THE CLAIM:
However, a cursory look at the statute books, shows that Mr. Sowore was wrong.
DUBAWA came across these anti-corruption laws:
- Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act:
This Act which has been amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012 repeals the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 to strengthen the framework for combating money laundering and corruption in Nigeria.
The Act prescribes that any Nigerian who directly or indirectly conceals or disguises the origin of; converts or transfers; removes from the jurisdiction; acquires, uses, retains or takes possession or control of; any fund or property, knowingly or which he or she should reasonably have known that such fund or property is, or forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.
The Act prescribes penalties for money laundering related offences.
2. The EFCC (Establishment) Act:
Section 6 of the act which provides for power of the commission states as follows:
- (1) The Commission has power to:
(a) cause investigations to be conducted as to whether any person has committed an offence under this Act; and
(b) with a view to ascertaining whether any person has been in offences under this Act or in the proceeds of any such offences, cause investigations to be conducted into the properties of any person if it appears to the Commission that the person’s life style and extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income.
(2) The Commission is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of
(a) the Money Laundering Act 1995;
(b) the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 1995;
(c) the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act 1994, as amended;
(d) the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act 1991, as amended; and
(e) Miscellaneous Offences Act; and
(f) any other law or regulations relating to economic and financial crimes.
3. The ICPC Act:
Offences and Penalties
- (1) Any person who corruptly –
(a) ask for, receives or obtains any property or benefit of any kind for himself or for any other person; or
(b) agree or attempts to receive or obtain any property or
(c) benefit of any kind for himself or for any other person, on account of-
(i) anything already done or omitted to be done, or for any favour or disfavour already shown to any person by himself in the discharge of his official duties or in relation to any matter connected with the functions, affairs or business of a Government department, or corporate body or other organisation or institution in which he is serving as an official; or
(ii) anything to be afterwards done or omitted to be done or favour or disfavour to be afterwards shown to any person, by himself in the discharge of his official duties or in relation to any such matter as aforesaid, is guilty of an offence of official corruption and is liable to imprisonment for seven (7) years.
(2) If in any proceedings for an offence under this section it is proved that any property or benefit of any kind, or any promise thereof, was received by a public officer, or by some other person at the instance of a public officer from a person-
(a) holding or seeking to obtain a contract, license, permit, employment or anything whatsoever from a Government department, public body or other organisation or institution in which that public officer is serving as such;
(b) concerned, or likely to be concerned, in any proceeding or business transacted, pending or likely to be transacted before or by that public officer or a government department, public body or other organisation or institution in which that public officer is serving as such; and
(c) acting on behalf of or related to such a person; the property, benefit or promise shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to have been received corruptly on account of such a past or future act, omission, favour or disfavour as is mentioned in subsection (1)(a) or (b).
(3) In any proceedings for an offence to which subsection (1)(b) is relevant, it shall not be a defence to show that the accused-
- a) did not subsequently do, make or show the act, omission, favour or disfavour in question; or
(b) never intend to do, make or show the act, omission, favour or disfavour.
(4) Without prejudice to subsection (3), where a Police Officer or other public officer whose duties include the prosecution, detection or punishment of offenders is charged with an offence under this section arising from-
(a) the arrest, detention or prosecution of any person for an alleged offence; or
(b) an omission to arrest, detain or prosecute any person for an alleged offence; or
(c) the investigation of an alleged offence, it shall not be necessary to prove that the accused believed that the offence mentioned in paragraph (a) (b) or (c), or any other offence had been committed.
4. Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Let us also examine the relevant sections:
8. No persons shall offer a public officer any property, gift or benefit of any kind as an inducement or bribe for the granting of any favour or the discharge in his favour of the public officer’s duties
11. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every public officer shall within three months after the coming into force of this Code of Conduct or immediately after taking office and thereafter –
(a) at the end of every four years; and
(b) at the end of his term of office, submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau a written declaration of all his properties, assets, and liabilities and those of his unmarried children under the age of eighteen years.
(2) Any statement in such declaration that is found to be false by any authority or person authorised in that behalf to verify it shall be deemed to be a breach of this Code.
(3) Any property or assets acquired by a public officer after any declaration required under this Constitution and which is not fairly attributable to income, gift, or loan approved by this Code shall be deemed to have been acquired in breach of this Code unless the contrary is proved.
12. Any allegation that a public officer has committed a breach of or has not complied with the provisions of this Code shall be made to the Code of Conduct Bureau.
While it is true that many corruption cases are yet to be prosecuted and there are allegations that the Federal Government is only prosecuting opposition politicians on allegations of corruption, it is TOTALLY FALSE to say that Nigeria has no preventive measures against corruption.