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2023: Desist from unserious petitions, ICPC cautions politicians



Poor leadership cause of rising cases of violent crimes, poverty in northern Nigeria, ICPC boss says

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has told politicians in country to desist from sending unnecessary petitions against their opponents in any race.

Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, the Chairman of the ICPC, who gave this warning during the hosting of the leadership of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) at the Commission’s Headquarters on Friday, noted that some politicians tend to use anti-corruption agencies with politically motivated petitions in order to outdo their opponents, stating, that such moves will not work with the ICPC.

According to Owasanoye: “Usually when the season for competition comes, there is a spike in politically motivated petitions for wild-goose chases. Some are brazen enough to tell you that ‘we should make sure to stop Mr A from contesting’ and they will bring a petition forward. That is not our job, and we will not get involved in those things.

“We pack those types of petitions aside basically. Even if there is implication of merit within the complaint, we will say, ‘go and compete first.’ We are not going to be the one to be used to give you the fair or unfair advantage. When the competition is over, we will decide on the merit or otherwise of what you have brought forward.”

This is according to Azuka Ogugua, the Spokesman of the ICPC, who quoted his principal as saying that the commission had an existing understanding with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on how to handle good electoral petitions when the need arises.

“We do have an understanding with INEC that in cases where contestants challenge each other in court and the decision says somebody forged a certificate for example, INEC will send those things to us, and we are prosecuting a few of them at the moment. Those are ways we will add value without compromising ourselves or exposing our officers to the compromise and desperation of politicians during the contest,” he said.

The ICPC boss also challenged political parties to do a self-check of candidates they field as the fortune of any nation relies on the type of leaders it gets, noting that the pruning process should start with political parties so that “charity should begin at home”.

Read also: Bauchi APC questions lease, sale of state-owned moribund firms, wants EFCC, ICPC to step in

Meanwhile, Engineer Yabagi San,i the chairman of IPAC, explained that the reason for the visit was for effective collaboration and support of the anti-graft agency in ensuring that politicians with questionable characters were not elected into office.

He said: “The activities that will lead to the emergence of a government that will preside over the affairs of this nation is something that all stakeholders must buy into so as to have a free, fair and credible elections come 2023.

“Politics is the management of crisis and we believe that if we can get the recruitment of leadership right, which will come from the due diligence we are expected to carry out, they (political office holders) will conduct themselves in a manner that will give this country the kind of respect which we are expected to showcase in the eyes of the committee of nations, that is by ensuring that governance is free from all shades of corruption.”

By Mohammed Taoheed…

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