The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has called on the various anti-corruption agencies in the country to come out with their findings on the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals with the aim of bringing those culpable to justice.
In a statement issued by CACOL and signed by Tola Oresanwo, its Director of Administration and Programmes on behalf of its Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran, CACOL said it is taking too long for the findings of the investigations into the high profile cases to be made public.
It would be recalled that sometime in the year 2016, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) announced the re-opening and resumption of activities on the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals with the aim of bringing those culpable to justice.
Six years down the line, no concrete action had been taken on the matter neither has there been any information on how far the agency had gone on the matter.
Commenting on the long, tortuous journey to secure justice on the two scandals, the group recalled its long pursuit of justice on them by its protests and petitions in which it specifically requested the investigation of the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) urgently for alleged extortion.
Reiterating its focus on its objectives, CACOL recalled the recent words of its Chairman, Debo Adeniran, urging the EFCC to continue the process and to vigorously pursue the cases to logical conclusions within the ambit of the law.
“The EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies involved in the cases should even look beyond the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Daudu (SAN); the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN), and Mr. Roland Ewubare for their alleged involvement in the $182m Halliburton scandal. Everyone else involved in the Halliburton and Siemens scandal must pay for their crimes, no matter who they are,’’ he stated.
One thing that is making corruption thrive in the country is the culture of impunity which is being enjoyed by many so called “Big-men” in Nigeria. Once a crime is perceived to have been committed and there is no thorough investigation and subsequent prosecution of the culprits, then there is the tendency that others would commit the same crime in higher magnitude knowing fully well that they would not be punished.
It is instructive to note that some of the cronies of the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals have been punished in their respective countries. It is only in Nigeria that we found it difficult to prosecute those involved just because they are influential and somehow more powerful than the state.
“We should also note that recently, the federal government said all was set for the commencement of inauguration of the first set of power equipment procured under the Presidential Power Initiative (IPP), popularly known as Nigeria-Siemens power project. This shows that the present administration is dealing with the same Siemens who happen to be one of the companies involved in the scandal without prosecuting all those that were fingered in the scandal.”
He further reiterated the need for diligence in investigations, prosecutions and procedure, stressing that “a situation where culprits of corruption escape justice based on wobbly prosecutions or investigations will only make Nigeria to be a laughing stock among the comity of nations especially as far as corruption is concerned.
”We at CACOL therefore use this medium to call on all anti-corruption agencies to rise to the occasion and make public the results of their investigations on these scandals. It is our utmost desire to see agencies of government treat all suspected corruption criminals in the same way in order to send the appropriate message to innocent Nigerians that corruption is a shameful act, pointing out that this is in line with CACOL’s mantra: Name, Nail, Shame and Shun corrupt leaders anywhere, everywhere.” The statement said.