On Thursday, 10 October 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari hosted members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), promising to prioritise the cost of governance and weed out possible corruption.
Noting major sacrifice which members of the committee have made in carrying out their assignment, Buhari said, “Some of the elite won’t trust you, and you will be alienated, no matter how close you are to them.”
Recalling experiences of the past, in which assets were seized from officials who couldn’t explain how they got them, “only for those assets to be returned to them when government was changed”, President Buhari vowed that such would not recur, as he had given instructions that all forfeited assets be sold, “and the money put in the Treasury Single Account”.
“Let’s see who will now take back the money from the treasury and give back to those people, as was done in the past,” the President added.
The Chairman of PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay, who led the delegation, said Nigeria was lucky more than ever to have a person of President Buhari’s credentials as leader of government.
“We congratulate you for being a star of the anti-corruption struggle in Africa. You attach a lot of importance to the fight against corruption, and we have tried to achieve the aims you had in mind when you established PACAC,” Prof Sagay added.
He explained that the committee trains, builds capacity of anti-corruption agencies, and has helped to develop a programme of non-conviction assets recovery, which is recording great successes.
PACAC made some recommendations to the President to move the anti-corruption war many steps forward.
The recommendations included reestablishment of the jury system for criminal cases in the country and the setting up of a judicial commission on corruption in the judiciary, to be headed by retired judges under the auspices of National Judicial Council (NJC).
Another is the passage of Proceeds of Crime Act by the National Assembly; the setting up of a Presidential Truth and Restitution Task Force; and a closer look at the cost of governance to weed out all vestiges of corruption.