…demands invitation, probe of Emefiele:
Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Monday, countered the Federal Government for saying its six-year-old Whistle Blowing Policy has lost steam and has not performed up to expectation.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the Whistle Blowing Policy must be sustained and adequate protection guaranteed for persons exposing heists of all kinds by corrupt government officials.
The group said the inaction of anti-graft agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which concentrates on going after yahooyahoo boys and petty thieves and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission on the correct information by some whistleblowers literally killed the policy and made it lose steam. HURIWA blame what it called insider saboteurs for destroying the whistleblowers policy because it’s either that whistleblowers are shortchanged of their commissikns after recovery or their lives are put at risks by moles and saboteurs who leak put vital information to indicted public office holders implicated for heists and warehousing of huge cash stolen off the public treasury.
HURIWA said it is unfortunate that the ICPC and the EFCC engage in selective investigations of high-profile corrupt government officials, leaving the cronies of the government in power and chasing after those who are in the opposition or those who offended someone in power.
The group further demanded the invitation by law enforcement agency and/or investigation of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, who has been alleged to be in the middle of many alleged sleazes and financial impropriety including but not limited to the huge scandal relating to the collection of stamp duties as alleged by the committee investigating the circumstances surrounding alleged disappearance of massive cash belonging to the people of Nigeria. HURIWA said the CBN is obliged to keep records of such financial transactions just as the Rights group said the office of the accountant General of the Federation has been turned into a cesspool of corruption demanding extensive surgical and forensic reforms.
Recall that last Wednesday, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, declared as ineffective, the Whistle Blowing Policy that was launched on December 21, 2016 by her Ministry to encourage people to volunteer information about fraud, bribery, looted government funds, financial misconduct, government assets and any other form of corruption or theft to the ministry.
The policy rewards a whistleblower who provides information about any financial mismanagement or tip about any stolen funds to the ministry’s portal with 2.5 per cent to five per cent from the recovered funds by the federal government.
However, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “Too many verifiable scandals and massive heists of public fund by UNKNOWN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS have been made public by whistle-blowers in recent times and unfortunately, the Central Bank of Nigeria is being implicated or ought to be aware of such suspicious transactions running into trillions of Naira alleged to be siphoned from the public treasury by top officials.
“For instance, a member of the House of Representatives, Muhammed Kazaure raised the alarm of alleged theft of stamp duty proceeds running into N89 trillion, saying he is in possession of valid documents that prove the existence of such funds in CBN custody. Also, a recent report showed a court document that displayed that some government officials under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration hid N70trn in 29 banks while the CBN under Godwin Emefiele and the Attorney General of the Federation allegedly looked the other way, making them either allegedly complicit in graft or protecting the UNKNOWN THIEVES.
“Yet, the EFCC and the ICPC have suddenly gone to bed to sleep. What a shenanigan! What a shame!
“These scams show that we now have a rogue government and Nigerians need to support the political office holders and private investigators behind these revelations just as Nigerians should demand that no harm should happen to them because right now the powerful government officials involved in the massive heists and diversion of public fund have hired street urchins and hoodlums masquerading as civil society organisations to launch series of fake and paid protests in Abuja against the member of the House of Representatives who exposed the stamp duty scam. HURIWA demands protection of even the Director General of the Department of State Services said to be instrumental to the revelation and full disclosure of the scam involving the stamp duty proceeds.
“Till date, the Nigerian Postal Service has denied the allegations and the inaction of EFCC and ICPC shows that the powerful forces in the office of the President have prevented them from arresting, and prosecuting those responsible.
“Nigerians need to be constantly vigilant, demand accountability, and support those exposing these scams. These scams are the reason top government officials said the whistle-blower policy has failed because the officials know that whistleblowers are exposing some worms and skeletons in their cupboards.”
December 19, 2022
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.