Labour ask for capital punishment on corruption

Labour ask for capital punishment on corruption

Labour ask for capital punishment on corruption
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The anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari got a major boost, yesterday, as organized labour staged a nationwide protest in support of the crusade, calling for death penalty for corrupt persons. The labour activists also threatened to invade any court where the judge grants perpetual injunction to frustrate anti-graft agencies from prosecuting corrupt persons.

The joint rallies by the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and other affiliates of the labour union tagged: “National Rally on Good Governance and Corruption”, were held in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kaduna and other major cities across the country. Those who spoke at the Abuja rally included factional president of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba, President of the Trade Union Congress, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, and President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge.
They called for the review of laws guiding the conduct of public officers in the country, stating that the laws of the country as they are currently coded support corruption .
The Abuja rally took officials and members of the NLC, the Trade Union Congress, TUC and other affiliates of the labour union to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the National Assembly and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Factional president of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, in his address at the rally said that Congress was set for a showdown with judges who were frustrating anti-corruption agencies from prosecuting corrupt individuals by granting perpetual injunctions.

Wabba stated that the NLC would no longer fold its hands and allow some members of the judiciary to frustrate the fight against corruption, but would instead insist that those who misappropriated public funds be made to return the funds while they are also made to face the full wrath of the law.

His words: “We will invade the courts of any judge that gives perpetual injunction to corrupt people. We can no longer allow them to frustrate the fight against corruption. Our laws are weak and lack the impetus to discourage corrupt practices. The laws make it possible for corrupt people to return only a fraction of what they stole, while they are given slight punishment as fines”.

He blamed the sorry state of affairs in the country at the moment on the loss of good governance, stating that the leadership of the country should be compelled to be responsible to the citizenry.

He further called on all political appointees to toe the line of the presidency by declaring their assets as well as their liabilities, if any, on assumption of office, at the middle of their tenure and at the end of their tenure.

Also speaking, President of the Trade Union Congress, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, lamented that corruption has helped in no small measure to hinder the growth and development of the country, stating that for the country to move forward, people must be willing to fight and eliminate corruption.

He said, “We want everyone to turn a new leaf. We will henceforth expose corrupt persons. This is not the time to trade blames, but the time to support the institutions fighting corruption, irrespective of party affiliations. We want people to account for their stewardship.”

Speaking in the same vein, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, said that the fight against corruption can be achieved with a number of approaches, ranging from ensuring that workers are paid their dues, while the Federal Government must ensure a review of the remuneration system. He called for a deepening of laws that help in the fight against corruption, and the enactment of a legislation to protect whistle-blowers.


“We cannot fight corruption without adequate punishment. To this end, I will advocate strict punishment, especially capital punishment for corrupt individuals.”
FG lauds labour for joining fight against corruption

Receiving the letter on behalf of the Federal Government, Mr. Babachir Lawal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, commended Nigerian workers for aligning with the present administration’s fight against corruption.

According to him, corruption is at the heart of every failure in Nigeria, and assured workers that their request to the President in terms of the fight against corruption would be given utmost attention.

Also speaking, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who was represented by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Mr. Francis Alimikhena, stated that the present Senate would take the issue of corruption seriously and will not relent until corruption is eliminated.
According to him, one of the numerous signs that the Senate is serious about this issue is the fact that the Senate has resolved that the Private Member’s Bill on corruption would be given accelerated hearing, while other bills bordering on corruption would be given fast-tracked hearing.

On his own part, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, who was represented by Mr. Sani Zorro, representing Jigawa State in the House of Representatives, said the House is ready to strengthen the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act and is hopeful that through its activities, corruption would be eliminated or greatly reduced in the country.

At the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission office, labour gave the chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde a pat on the back for a job well done and warned corrupt elements in the country to stop distracting Lamorde and EFCC from doing their work, describing them as enemies of the people of Nigeria.

According to them, Lamorde was not only competent and committed to the work of eradicating corruption in Nigeria but was also on track to rein in those whose hands had been tainted.

Issa Aremu, Vice President of the NLC in a short speech during the visit, urged Lamorde not to be discouraged by the recent attacks by corrupt elements who are jittery about the Commission’s activities.

“I remember President Muhammadu Buhari saying that, if we don’t fight corruption, it will kill us. We are here today to strengthen the work of EFCC. As a matter of fact, over the years, EFCC has done its best. As we all know, if you fight corruption, it fights back. I know in recent times, corruption seems to be fighting back. I can recollect that in 2003 when the ICPC, under Justice Mustapha Akanbi was doing a very good job to fight corruption, the National Assembly, suddenly, watered down the system.

“The NLC and TUC stood up that time to defend the ICPC. So, I think we should commend both the NLC and TUC for standing up to join in the fight against corruption. We are witnessing almost the same thing now. I don’t know the details, but my brother, Lamorde, has done very well,” he said

Speaking earlier, NLC factional president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the rally was in support of the anti-corruption posture of the Muhammadu Buhari administration and the EFCC.
“We are demanding good governance, accountability and transparency, so that we can have enough to cater for the nation’s development,” he said.
Wabba, who advocated that all hands must be on deck to stamp out corruption from Nigeria, pledged labour’s continued support to the current leadership of EFCC in its fight against corruption.
“We urge you to recover all stolen Nigerian money and property. Our prayer is that the laws must be reviewed to make penalty for offenders to include capital punishment. We need to stand in unison and fight this evil called corruption. We must kill it before it kills us all.”
Comrade Wabba then presented a petition, containing the demands of organized labour, to Lamorde for onward delivery to President Buhari.
In a short remark afterwards, Lamorde, stated that the war against corruption would be fought with relentless vigour. He said: “I want to assure you that we are doing our best and will continue to do what we are doing, particularly as all the trade unions are behind us. I truly agree that the time is ripe for all Nigerians to speak with one voice because corruption has continued to slow down the pace of development in our country. We cannot afford to suffer this anymore. Other countries that gained independence about the time Nigeria did are far ahead of us today.”
He further stated that the only way by which the government could function properly was to block all the loopholes through which corruption is perpetrated.
‘’I can assure you that my colleagues and I will always partner with you in the fight against corruption,’’ he said.
In Lagos, labour leaders stormed the office of the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, protesting high level of corruption in the country and expressing support for the anti-corruption war of President Buhari.
They displayed several placards with inscriptions such as,” Nigerians are not dullards,” Labour backs Buhari’s anti- corruption campaign,” President Buhari stop smuggling,” among others.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, State TUC Chairman, Mr. Akeem Hakeem, who read the position of the labour while presenting a letter to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, noted that corruption in Nigeria had almost destroyed the country.
Lamenting the effect of corruption in the country, he said “In fact, corruption is mostly pronounced in the Nigerian political system and public sector. The belief is that once a person occupies any position, be it the smallest, they will use corrupt practices to enrich themselves”.
Receiving the letter on behalf of the governor, Secretary to Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, lauded labour leaders for their efforts to eradicate corruption and other vices in the country.
Similarly, in Edo State, labour leaders at a rally held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin called on Nigerians to join the anti-corruption train to move Nigeria forward.
Led by Emmanuel Adedokun, the labour leaders said, “It is our conviction that the elimination of corruption will functionally be the beginning of our national prosperity.
“As an organization whose objective is to promote positive change in Nigeria, we are happy to be associated with the current national posture of the federal government led by President Muhammadu