By Kingsley Okoye
Abuja, Aug. 7, 2020 Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, says the National Assembly is working on strengthening the country’s anti-graft laws.
Yomi Odunuga, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement on Friday said that Omo-Agege made the disclosure in Abuja, while receiving representatives of Good Leadership Advocacy for Africa (GLAFA).
Omo-Agege said the Ninth Assembly would continue to give President Muhammadu Buhari the necessary support in his fight against corruption.
This, he explained, was why the National Assembly intervened whenever some government agencies appeared to be veering off the normal course.
He said: “Talking about corruption, there has been an argument that we should make more laws and make punishments more stringent.
“Of course, there is also a school of thought which argues that we have enough laws but that we need to create incentives for those who are doing the investigations, arrests and prosecution so that they can see this as a really worthwhile effort without any top official hindering their work.
“Reassurances will go a long way to help but indeed there are lacunae that can be addressed with new laws like what we have done with the Sexual Harassment Bill.
“This was because it was becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to prosecute crimes in that area.
“Our job at the National Assembly is to assist President Buhari in strengthening these institutions, knowing full well that he will not be here forever.
“The National Assembly is strengthening the anti-corruption laws including the EFCC, ICPC enabling Acts among others,” he said.
He expressed appreciation for the organisation’s acknowledgement that the National Assembly leadership had not been involved in the humongous corruption being uncovered at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other government agencies.
According to Omo-Agege, the National Assembly leadership is determined to ensure the success of the Buhari administration, even as he asked Nigerians to rally round the president.
“As a legislative body, we are very conscious of the powers and privileges set aside for us, as embedded in the 1999 Constitution (As Amended).
“Very often, the legislative arm has been accused of veering off legislative activities and moving into areas that some believe to be set aside for the Executive arm of government.
“Apart from providing enabling environment for the president to succeed, our major interest is to enhance the success of his anti-corruption agenda.
“I agree that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of governance in this country and some have come to a conclusion that it is a bigger pandemic than the COVID-19.
“So, that is part of the reasons we are determined to give the president everything he needs to succeed in this war.
“Because, at the end of the day, this is going to be part of the legacies he will leave behind, along with tackling insecurity.
Earlier, leader of the Team and President of GLAFA, Dr O’Diakpo Obire, frowned at the recent financial malfeasance rocking the NDDC.
He commended the National Assembly for its probe of the interventionist agency.
He also lauded the deputy president of the senate for sponsoring 19 bills within his first year in the ninth senate.
Obire explained that with over 10,000 membership strength across 54 African nations, at the core of GLAFA’s mandate was the promotion of good governance and quality leadership on the continent.
NASS working to strengthen Nigeria’s anti-graft laws says Omo-Agege
By Kingsley Okoye