CLEEN Foundation Held Town-Hall Meeting in Lagos State Towards Fostering Citizens’ Support for the War against Corruption in Nigeria

The CLEEN Foundation (formerly known as Centre for Law Enforcement Education) is a non-governmental organization established in January 1998 with the mission of promoting public safety, security and accessible justice through the strategies of empirical research, legislative advocacy, demonstration programmes and publications, in partnership with government, civil society and the private sector.

In continuation of our workplan on the Accountable Governance, Justice and Security Project, the CLEEN Foundation organized a one-day town hall meeting in Lagos towards fostering citizens’ support for the war against corruption in Nigeria. The meeting held on Wednesday, 31st August, 2016 at R&A City Hotel, 2 Majekodunmi Street, Off Allen Avenue, Ikeja Lagos.

The meeting brought stakeholders together and featured presentations on the role of citizens in the fight against corruption, evaluation of institutional efforts in combating corruption and strategic approaches to fighting corruption in Nigeria through community perspectives. The programme was chaired by Barr. Adesina Ogunlana, Chairman Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch.

Leading Anti graft agencies in Nigeria were also represented thus: The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) represented by Hajia Larai Musa, Assistant Director, Enlightenment and Reorientation Unit; while the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) was represented Mr. Binga Shintema. Other discussants at the event are: Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA); and Agunloye Tolutope, from BudgIT. The media, CSOs and representatives of relevant government agencies were also present at the meeting.

Drawing from the observations and contributions made by the discussants and the participants; the meeting highlighted the following:

  • The fight against corruption in Nigeria must be community-driven.
  • Sensitization campaign of government on corruption should go through National Orientation Agency (NOA).
  • Anonymous reporting should be created on the websites of the anti-corruption agencies.
  • Establishment of an anti-corruption division within the high court to speed up corruption related trials.
  • Networks and coalitions formed by citizens (CSOs) towards a campaign against corruption must be strengthened.
  • Citizens must take ownership of the anti-corruption war.
  • Operational autonomy must be granted to the anti-graft agencies
  • Strengthening the anti-graft agencies financially to enhance their operational capacity.
  • Establishment of special anti-corruption courts and training of judges.
  • Consistent and relentless media campaigns against corruption
  • Harmonization of CSOs/NGOs actions against corruption
  • The whistle blower bill must be passed into an act
  • States and Local government Authorities must start publishing their budgets
  • The media, Ministry of Justice and CSOs must create more awareness on FOI Act
  • Compliance and implementation of international Convention against transnational organized crime and corruption through a free press and independent judiciary.

Specific Questions Directed to the Anti-graft Agencies

  • What are the efforts being put in place by the anti-graft agencies in ensuring that data on cases arrested and prosecuted are published for public utilization at least on a monthly basis?
  • In what ways are the anti-graft agencies partnering with CSO, CBO, FBO at the grassroots level to sensitize community members on the cost of corruption?
  • What statistics is available to the public on cannabis farm in the south west geopolitical zone?
  • What disciplinary measures are set aside for uniformed persons using, abusing or dealing in drugs?
  • What Statistics are available to Nigerians on Nigerians in foreign prisons?
  • To what extent has the club established by the ICPC in schools assumed a life of its own?

Outcome and Resolutions from the Meeting

  • The anti-graft agencies were committed partner with CSOs in the fight against corruption.
  • The anti-graft agencies were committed to share statistics of cases arrested and prosecuted
  • CSOs were sensitized on their roles in the war against corruption and they were committed to partner with the anti-graft agencies.
  • Anti-graft agencies and CSOs had opportunities to share with participants, projects they have carried out that contributes to the fight against corruption
  • Participant were exposed to technologies and tools for fighting corruption

Also, participants made commitment to:

  • Step-down knowledge received in their various organisations and community forums.
  • Engage and build the capacity of community member to monitor low level corruption by public officers.
  • Approach the anti-graft for data collection for academic and programmatic purposes.
  • Partner with CLEEN and anti-graft agencies in the war against corruption.
  • Monitor corruption in public administration using the tracking tools developed by BudgIT

As we proceed on our Access Nigeria project, we pledge our commitment to keep supporting the work of ICPC, EFCC and allied institutions who are working to promote accountable governance and transparent public administration in Nigeria. For further inquiry about this report and future collaborations or engagement, please contact us via email: cleen@cleen.org, benson.olugbuo@cleen.org, oluwole.ojewale@cleen.org

Yours Sincerely

Benson Olugbuo
Executive Director

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