Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has charged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission, ICPC, and the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, to wake up from institutional slumber and monitor the financial dealings of local government councils in the country.
The group lamented that the apparent compromise or institutional lethargy by ICPC and CCB is responsible for the offensive scale of grand corruption at the local government councils especially regarding the operations of the states/local governments’ joint accounts.
Speaking on the increasing scale of corrupt practices at the local government councils, the Rights group through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, tasked both the ICPC and CCB to work out strategies for carrying out effective oversight of the financial transactions of the local government councils because according to the group, it is the collapsed state of social amenities at the Local Government Councils created by the total non-existence of good governance standards at that third tier of government that has made millions of Nigerian families absolutely poor.
“We believe that the ICPC and the CCB may be colluding with state Chief executives so the vicious circles of fraud, disappearances of local government allocations from the federation accounts have continued to expand in leaps and bounds just as it noted that rural poverty which results from local governments’ deeply entrenched political corruption has become a grave threat to national security which must be checked by the institutions set up to inculcate and enforce laws on transparency and accountability in public offices.”
HURIWA stated that there is absolutely no need for President Muhammadu Buhari to issue an executive order to bring into being the financial autonomy of the third tier of government had it been that both the ICPC and CCB were up and doing with their statutory mandate of fighting corruption of all ramifications.
“We wonder why the ICPC and the code of conduct Bureau have both become miserable toothless bulldogs that stand by whilst the commonwealth belonging to the citizens at the grassroots are stolen by governors and their foot soldiers posted like colonial tax collectors by governors to their local government councils against section 7 of the constitution and democratization of local council.
“Specifically, section 7 of the 1999 constitution states thus: ‘Local Government System (1) The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance, and functions of such councils.’”
HURIWA said the reason for the governors violating Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution was to enable them to post their boys and mistresses as administrators to continue to perpetuate the continuous heist of the council funds, and they are getting away with these crimes against humanity because the institutions of ICPC and CCB that should effectively check and stop the financial leakage may be benefiting from the financial bonanza.
The group added that the Code of conduct bureau Act in Section 2 and 3 of the Code of Conduct Bureau authorized the effective monitoring of finances of local councils.
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