The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), has urged the National Assembly to urgently pass the pending Proceeds of Crime and Whistle-blower bills to enhance the fight against corruption.
The Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, Mr. Salihu Isah, said in a statement on Wednesday that Malami made the plea when he appeared on a live programme on the Nigerian Television Authority in Abuja on Tuesday.
The NTA programme was however, designed to focus on the whistle-blowing policy of the Federal Government.
While responding to a question on the live programme, excerpts from Malami’s speech reads thus:
“I appeal to the National Assembly to expedite action towards passage of the bills as that will engender increased citizen participation in the anti-graft war and whistle– blowing activities.”
“The law would carry more weight than the policy statement currently in force.”
“The prolonged stay of the Proceeds of Crime and Whistle-blower bills before the National Assembly is not helping matters because, if the bill had been passed by the legislature, the laws would have provided a legal backing to the Federal Government’s whistle-blowing policy.”
“The agencies involved in prosecuting the anti-graft war are keying into the understanding of protecting whistle-blowers.”
“Nigerians were beginning to appreciate the public interest in the process. It has gotten to a level where close relations are now blowing the whistle on their allies.”
“The policy is being accommodated wholeheartedly by Nigerians.”
“Nigeria participated in the last year’s London summit on anti-corruption war and had joined the Open Government Partnership to enhance the fight against corruption.”
“Federal Government had demonstrated the political goodwill “aimed at exposing corruption and mismanagement of public resources.”
Responding to another question, Malami explained that whistle-blowers could report allegations with criminal elements to his office or such information could be routed through other anti-graft agencies.
“The Federal Ministry of Justice Is collaborating with other anti-graft agencies to ensure that justice is done to the report and the reporter.”
“The federal ministries of justice and finance are working on a document to eliminate the bottlenecks associated with reporting criminalities and administrative ills.”
“The single deed document is being developed to save whistle-blowers of the tripartite process of reporting criminalities and administrative ills.”