Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, yesterday, said he will sign into law the Financial Crimes Commission Bill, which was recently passed by the House of Assembly, this week.
Daily Sun gathered that an anti-graft agency would be set up after the governor’s assent, and the commission will look into the records of actors in the present and past administrations and will investigate suspected financial crimes, which can lead to litigation.
Makinde disclosed this in a keynote address, entitled: ‘Law, Probity and Good Governance: Practical Approach to Making Nigeria Greater’, he delivered at the 65th anniversary celebration of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ibadan branch, in Ibadan.
Though, the governor has said the anti-graft agency would not be used to witch-hunt anybody, the commission may look into the suspected financial crimes by former governors, commissioners, local government chairmen, chairmen of boards and parastatals, civil servants and so on.
“The bill was transmitted to the House of Assembly in July 2019. It has very recently been passed into law by the Assembly and will be signed by me this week.
“Our administration could have chosen to go after people we would label criminals without the relevant laws and I am sure some people will support us. But that will be no way to achieve greatness. Instead, we will be creating chaos.
“So, it is important the laws are created the right way and implemented by the right persons or agencies. This is how to ensure strong institutions are built.
“When some people act like they are above the law, or that they can arbitrarily shift the rules of engagement, would you feel safe in that environment? Such a nation cannot achieve its potential for greatness.
“For this reason, in Oyo State, we are determined to only act in accordance with the law. We ensure our actions are backed by relevant laws, and where the laws do not exist, we use the instruments of the state to first pass the laws before we begin to implement them,” he said.
Makinde said his administration has made probity and accountability as its watchword, saying: “In the first few days as governor, I established a Due Process Office and appointed a director general to oversee it. This ensures transparency and accountability regarding the award of government contracts. But it sometimes means delays in getting things done.
“The law requires that before contracts are awarded by government, due process must be followed. We have had to follow due process even when it would be easier and sometimes, even better to cut corners for the sake of achieving quick development. It takes between three and six months to award contracts for the building of roads.”