… Says Anti-Corruption Agency set up to combat several fraud cases his administration met
Governor Seyi Makinde has said that the law that established the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency (OYACA) is consistent with the federal laws that established the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences (ICPC) and other anti-corruption federal agencies.
Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo shared this on Tuesday while representing the governor at the ‘Operational Integrity Management Training Programme, a collaboration between ICPC and OYACA held at Premier Hotel, Ibadan.
Prof Oyewo shared that the Governor has stated that said no provision in the OYACA laws will go against what Federal law dictates and called the legal tussle between Ondo State and the Attorney-General of the Federation as the turning point for the creation of Oyo State anti-corruption laws.
He also shared that OYACA became a necessity because the situation where state personnel had to make court appearances at Abuja and across the country was too expensive. When the present administration came on board, many cases were discovered and a need for the fight against corruption to be domesticated birthed the OYACA.
He also shared the Governor’s wish for the whistle-blower act to be passed by the House of Assembly, stating that the act would make the investigation and prosecution of corruption cases easier.
He said: “The constitutional competence of the State to fight corruption rested squarely in the provision of the law and there exists no provision in OYACA laws that tie the hands of any federal anti-corruption agency.”
“OYACA law is consistent with the fundamental objectives of the federal laws, which are instruments created to fight graft and block loopholes where public resources are stolen or mismanaged.”
“We appreciate the ICPC for this collaboration to stem the tide of graft in our society and cause a lot of loss to the government and the people of the State, there is also the urgent need to pass the whistle-blower bill into law to aid the speed and smoothness of investigation and prosecution .”
The ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye also spoke at the event and said that the Supreme Court judgement on Ondo State and the Attorney-General of the Federation has affirmed ICPC’s power to investigate and prosecute corruption in the country. He added that with this precedent, State governments can also set up anti-corruption agencies, as long as the provisions in their anti-corruption laws do not negate federal law.
He then charged the OYACA to resolutely face their patriotic duty of fighting graft and misuse/mismanagement of public resources, calling it an uphill task and that there would be many agencies against the agency.
He charged the OYACA to be resolute in advancing the course of fighting graft and mismanagement of public resources, saying the work is tough and there would be many enemies against the agency.
“Corruption is so systemic and endemic that I am persuaded that it is pertinent that States can also work in fighting this scourge, the need for the fight to end corruption cannot be over-emphasized because corruption is debilitating to the progress and advancement of the State and Nigeria as a whole.”
“This work is a tough nut to crack, you are not going to have many friends, but what do you care, if your interest is to serve the State and the people?’’ he asked.
The OYACA Chairman, Hon. Justice Eni Esan expressed her appreciation for the support shown by the Anti-Corruption Agency of Nigeria (ACAN) an ICPC sub-agency located in Keffi, Nassarawa State, and urged the trainees of the collaboration to use the workshop to enhance their professional capacity.
She also thanked the Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde for his confidence in the agency and his belief that they would eradicate corruption in Oyo State.
The Oyo State Anti-corruption Agency (OYACA) board was inaugurated by Governor Seyi on 24th December 2020 with a mandate to end the misuse of public funds through investigation of corruption and prosecution in Oyo State.