Senior lawyers, a jurist, human rights activists and academia yesterday, blamed politicians for unbriddled corruption in the country, noting that the fight against the menace should be championed by the people not government.
The people who spoke in unison on the war against corruption, in line with this year’s Gani Fawehinmi lecture, titled; Nigeria Anti-Corruption War: Wither the Legal Profession and the Judiciary? organised by the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, agreed that except something drastic is done, the anti-graft war will be a mirage.
Major discussants at the event were Prof Jacob Dada of The Gambia Court of Appeal, Dele Adesina, SAN, Charles Oputa (Charly Boy) and Adesina Ogunlana, chairman of Ikeja Bar, while Prof Omotoye Olorode delivered the lecture.
Earlier, chairman of Ikeja bar, Adesina Ogunlana, stressed the need for the “Fawehinmi’s” annual lecture.
The annual lecture , the 13th in the series was anchored on the role and principle of justice, fair play and true federalism for which late Fawehinmi was known.
Delivering the lead paper, Prof Omotoye Olorode said the fight against corruption in Nigeria dates back to 1960, but surprisingly corruption continue to wax stronger.
According to him; “Privatization among other things is ultimate corruption. This is because people buying public assets are those that messed it up. Privatisation is killing democracy.
“Those who control wealth in Nigeria are those in power for decades. A substantial part of this year’s budget is to service the enterprises that are alleged to be sold, and nobody is saying anything, yet we are fighting corruption.’’
Discussing the paper, Justice Dada, stressed that “corruption has assumed frightening proportion in Nigeria, because of it’s gravity, pervasiveness, sophistication, complexity and diversification.’’
On his part, activist lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, called on Nigerians to take over the fight against corruption.
“No government all over the world fights corruption, because governments are the most corrupt. It is the duty of Nigerians to take over the fight and own it, otherwise you cannot abolish corruption in Nigeria,“ he said.
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