- Category: Latest
- Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 17:18
- Written by Victor Okafor
The attempted arraignment of the duo of Hon. Heman Hembe and Hon Chris Azubogu, the chairman and deputy chairman respectively, of the House of Representative committee on capital market, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the non utilisation of travel allowance made available to them by the
Securities and Exchange committee (SEC) for a trip to Dominican Republic has continued to elicit responses and comments from members of the public.
Speaking in Lagos over the weekend, the Director General of the Ethics & Corporate Compliance Institute of Nigeria, Sir Agabaidu Jideani, berated the EFCC for appearing to be wastefull of public funds in prosecuting the duo, since according to him the allegation against the duo does not reveal any criminal activity.
“The National Assembly as well as other public service institutions, have a policy on retirement of allowances, cash advances and other disbursement of funds. Even in EFCC and the SEC the non retirement of advanced cash for a trip or any activity by an official is not treated as a crime and no body has ever been dragged to court in Nigeria or any where in the world for non retirement of unutilised travel allowance..” according to Sir Agabaidu, what obtains is that “… the public official involved is communicated to by the office or organisation that advanced the cash and requested to refund the untilised portion of the cash advance or allowance. Where the public official involved remains recalcitrant, the next step is to have such monies deducted from their salaries. It is never a criminal matter that would warrant expending tax payers’ funds to prosecute…”
Sir Agabaidu went on to explain that it would amount to a waste of tax payers fund for the EFCC, to concentrate its time and efforts to prosecute the two leaders of the National Assembly over the recovery of the sum of about N600,000.00 (six hundred thousand naira only).
Speaking further the Director General who explained that the institute is involved in the development and deployment of Ethics, Corporate Compliance and anti-corruption programs and initiative, invited Nigerians to buy into the creation of an ethical culture and integrity in both the public and private sectors so as to ensure the long term benefits associated with transparency and good governance.
On the vexed issue of the rumoured interest of the president to run in the 2015 elections, Sir, Agabaidu was of the view that the president should be allowed to concentrate and deliver on his transformation agenda noting that the President has the constitutional right to seek a second term in office. He explained that it is understood in a nation like Nigeria that any of the six geo political zones that ascends to the presidency would be allowed to exhaust the constitutionally allowed maximum term of eight years and the south south region should not be an exception.
To foster executive- legislature rapport and cordiality the DG advised executive branch agencies like the EFCC to tread with caution and circumspect when dealing with other branches of government like the National Assembly.
He called on the commission to withdraw the charges against the leaders of the National Assembly as it disclosed no criminal activity.