Sagay: Enemies of anti-corruption war are in the national assembly

Itse Sagay, presidential advisory committee against corruption (PACAC) chairman, says the national assembly is the enemy of the anti-corruption efforts of the federal government.

He said the federal lawmakers have constituted an opposition to the anti-corruption efforts of the government and anti-graft agencies.

Sagay said this in reaction to senate president Bukola Saraki’s criticism of the anti-corruption war on Monday during the launch of Dino Melaye’s book, ‘Antidotes for Corruption: The Nigerian Story’.

“I am convinced that why our fight against corruption has not yielded much success is that we have favoured punishment over deterence‎. We must fight corruption with sincerity, and not fight symptoms… unlike the five-minute sensationalism we have now. It must not be based on individuals but on institutions,” Saraki had said.

Reacting, Sagay said the national assembly is intent on weakening the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He said the nation’s lawmakers have hindered the progress of the anti-corruption fight, particularly by refusing to confirm Igrahim Magu as chairman of the EFCC.

“In fact, the National Assembly has constituted itself into an opposition to the anti-corruption struggle. It has mounted a war against the anti-corruption struggle. It has decided to obstruct it at every stage,” he said.

“For example, the bill for a special criminal court is not moving. And we saw the way they tried to stop Magu from being chairman of EFCC just because they found out he was effective, determined and incorruptible.

“So they really want to weaken it, destroy it and bring it to the level it was when Jonathan was in power. So, they’re enemies of the anti-corruption struggle, there’s no question about that.”

Sagay added that contrary to Saraki’s statement that the anti-corruption war was all about jailing people, “What we are determined to do at any cost is to recover every stolen kobo, all the loot taken from Nigeria, 100 per cent”.