Rep calls for strengthening of anti-graft agencies

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By Abiemwense Moru

Abuja, July 14, 2017 (NAN) The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Services, Rep. Mohammed Monguno (Borno-APC), has called for the strengthening of anti-corruption agencies for effective tracking of looted funds.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja said that strengthening the agencies would sharpen and fortify their investigative machinery.

The lawmaker, who was reacting to the bill seeking amnesty for those who looted the treasury to surrender their part of the loot and go scot-free, which is before the House of Representatives, said he did not support it.

“I am not in support of this bill seeking amnesty for people who have looted the treasury to surrender their loot and go scot-free. By so doing, we will be encouraging corruption in this country.’’

“Instead, we should strengthen the arm of the anti-corruption agencies, their investigative machinery and powers, so that they can properly investigate and track the stolen funds.

“There is need to also overhaul our administration of criminal justice system.

“Also, we need special courts for corruption matters so that corruption matters will be quickly and speedily dispensed of rather than adjudicating in ordinary courts.

“The special courts should also be properly funded.

“But, the practice whereby corruption cases drag on for 10 years, 15 years in our courts is not healthy, because the magnitude of corruption in this country is even threatening the corporate existence of the country,’’ he said.

On the call for true federalism, Mongonu expressed support for it, saying that much power was concentrated “at the centre’’ and needed to be devolved.

“I think the only way this tension could be doused is through the restructuring of Nigerian federation.

“As it is now, too much power is concentrated in the centre; so, there is need for devolution of powers to the constituent units that make up the Nigerian federation.

“This is necessary so that states which are closer to the people can exercise these powers on behalf of the people.

“I am referring to what people call true federalism because as it is now what we are practising is more or less unitary system of government.

“So, we have to restructure, especially with regard to exclusive legislative list so that some of these items could be transferred to the concurrent legislative list, whereby states and federal government can make laws to govern.’’

Mongonu distanced himself from anything that would stir crisis in the country, and said that the people making hate speeches were those who read about the civil war from history books.

According to him, they did not witness the horror of the civil war; most of them were born after the civil war.

“So, they did not appreciate the dangers associated with war and that is why they are making these hate speeches.

“Those who witnessed the horrors of war cannot be promoting these hate messages and activities.

“I always believe that there is unity and strength in diversity. We should harness our diversity to its full potential and not use it to divide us.

“Nigeria is a great country and if we unite, it will be better for all of us,’’ Mongonu said. (NAN)