Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The Federal Government has recovered about N900 billion constituency allowances misappropriated by some National Assembly members, executive secretary of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, according to Prof. Sadiq Radda.
He told journalists on the sidelines of the 14th Anti-Corruption Situation Room (ACSR) in Maiduguri, Borno State, yesterday that the amount was allocated to senators and House of Representatives members for the execution of projects in their constituencies. He expressed regrets that the monies were looted by some NASS members, but recovered by the Independent Corrupt Practises Commission (ICPC).
“ICPC has recovered about N900 billion constituency projects fund from some National Assembly members,” he said, adding that it was the first time the commission would achieve such a feat.
Radda said the ICPC had also established a committee on security votes that would bring to book any governor who misappropriated funds in the name of security vote.
“People will be accountable. No governor will go free under the guise of security votes. People must be accountable,” he said.
Radda appealed to Nigerians not to accept what he called the antics of corrupt people who tagged the government’s anti-corruption drive as political. He maintained that no corrupt person would see any good in what government was doing.
“Fight against corruption should not be tagged political, because those found and arrested over corruption issues was not on the basis of their parties or religion. It is because of their action while holding public office,” he insisted.
He noted that the Federal Government had also realised that the fight against corruption was largely taking place at the federal level and as such resolved to go to the state level too.
“We are developing key interest at the state level,” he said, urging Nigerians to be determined in reporting acts of corruption, with the assurance that the ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have mechanisms to protect and reward whistleblowers for their patriotism.
Radda was the chairman at the 14th ACSR in Maiduguri, organised by Human Environment Development Agenda (HEDA), an anti-corruption campaigner.
HEDA’s executive director, Olanrewaju Suraju, said the programme was organised in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency and other anti-corruotion organisations in the country to collate peoples’ view about government activities, particularly social empowerment programmes, so as to arrest sharp practices.
He said the ACSR was supported by the MacArthur Foundation, urging Nigerians to stand up against corruption.