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‘Show treasury looters that crime does not pay,’ Buhari challenges African leaders on corruption



President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday counselled his counterparts in other African countries on the evils of corruption and how to fight the menace.

The president boasted that he would leave behind a proud legacy of tackling corruption when he completes tenure in 2023.

Buhari, according to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated this in his recorded remark to celebrate the African Day of Anti-Corruption.

The Nigerian leader, who described corruption as evil, called for the establishment of an International Anti-corruption Court to serve justice to money launderers.

Buhari also challenged his colleagues to take a strong stance against corruption, and “show looters that crime does not pay.”

He stressed that the fight against corruption must be sustained for the benefit of present and future generations.

The president said: “Distinguished participants and fellow African leaders, corruption is evil and all efforts at tackling it are desirable. I have monitored the fight against corruption in Africa and I can see both successes and drawbacks.

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“The battle must continue for the sake of the continent and its people no matter the difficulties. In Nigeria, the fight against corruption has been vigorous since 2015. A lot has been achieved in the areas of arrest, prosecution, conviction, asset recovery and anti-corruption laws.

“I must admit that the fight has not been a bed of roses. Truly, a lot of more work in many fronts is required. For example, civil and public servants must be ethical and professional at all times. The private sector must contribute in curving corruption. The international community needs to close safe havens. The judiciary requires more impetus. Perhaps, an International Anti-corruption Criminal Court is needed.”

He urged other African leaders to ensure that scarce national resources were not carted away to safe havens where chances of retrieving them were slim.

“In Nigeria, I am very proud of our Anti-Corruption Agencies, our law enforcement agencies and our regulatory bodies, for their efforts at checking criminality including corruption. I very deeply appreciate them for their sacrifices.

“I have come to realise that nations in Africa have to ensure that national resources are not taken to safe havens around the world and we must curtail illicit financial flows in all its ramifications. Also, we must work collectively to recover all resources taken abroad.

“We must show looters that crime does not pay by depriving them of the proceeds of their crime,” he added.

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