From: Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
A University Lecturer from the department of History and International Studies, University of Benin, Prof. Eddy Eragbe, has expressed fear that the war against corruption might be lost if those who were earlier convicted by the court of law are also exonerated by the same court.
He made the observation when reacting to a lecture titled “Anti corruption war, the more you look the less you see” delivered by Barr. Austine Osakue, at the event put together by the 2007/2008 students of International Studies and Diplomacy, University of Benin, Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The University professor said the recent happenings in the fight against corruption do not show that the country was ready to get rids of corruption.
“I think the lecture of today is very timely especially in the light of recent decisions that have come up that tend to be creating the impression that the war is being lost because things have seemed to have been very glaring in terms of what ought for the ordinary people are corrupt practices, people have been exonerated by the court even those that have been convicted before, the convictions have been turned around by way of what they called miscarriage of justice.
“We strongly believed that we should follow due process in this but what is becoming obvious is that the due process, the way we have been going, we seemed not have gotten it right.
“If there are those that have misbehaved in terms of past conduct, something should still be done to them. Again, to make people know that you cannot get away with things but once we encouraged the fact that you can get away with things, then we are not likely to make progress”, he said.
On the part of Barr. Austin Osakue, a human rights activist, opined that the issue of corruption becomes so high in the country when Nigerians stated amassing wealth for themselves and families rather than thinking about the collective well being of the people.
He said Nigerians should return to its former value where hard work, respect for the constituted authorities and collective responsibilities were the order of the day.
He noted that the present administration is making progress in its fight against corruption, stressing that it must not be left alone for the government but everybody should be involved in order to have a country we can be proud to call our own.
“We need a participatory approach to governance if we must win the war against corruption. We must begin citizen led anti corruption programmes,” he said.