Africa Anti – Corruption Day: YIAGA Africa Task Citizens on a United Front Against Corruption

…Scores Nigerian Government Low

….Charges AU leadership to reevaluate strategy for Africa

At the launch of 2018 as the African Anti-Corruption year in July 2017 by the African Union, at its 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the momentum was indeed palpable as there was a feeling that African leaders – known for their alleged historic penchant for corruption and gross impunity had seemingly found a renewed vigor that signaled that this time, things might be different — that this year 2018, the willingness of African leaders in the anti-corruption campaign in Africa was more real than it had ever been in previous years. One major highlight of that singular event was the unanimous endorsement of Nigerian leader, President Mohammad Buhari as the continent’s anti-corruption czar. By implication, president Buhari was to lead the fight against corruption in Africa, he was to “lead from the front” as was synonymous to his campaign to become president of the most populous black Nation on earth prior to the 2015 general elections in Nigeria. While the news of the Nigerian president’s endorsement was received with mixed feelings back in Nigeria, it was uncertain why the African leaders opted for his choice. Perhaps they had seen a quality inherent in the new leader that was oblivious to majority of Nigerians. For us at YIAGA Africa, we received the news with cautious optimism as we had hoped that the African leader’s choice was not a product of the apparent “body language” of the president that was a major highpoint prior to his assumption of the highest office in Nigeria. Could they have regarded Nigeria as a true ‘giant’ of Africa to have wanted a feel of this effect? We wondered. We had hoped that the African leaders had not adopted the historic “body language” effect as the continents major anti-corruption policy. It is noteworthy to remind us that upon Buhari’s assumption to office, there was a sense among Nigerian citizens’ that the anti-corruption warfare was no longer just smoke, but rather a raging fire that would be difficult, if not impossible to put out. There was this reassurance that Nigerian government will eventually deal with the menace of corruption fairly and squarely. Even those in doubt were eager to have their doubts cleared as they had believed that it was a farce. Whichever way, the government was faced with lot goodwill and supports to bring corruption to its barest minimum if not eliminate it.

Today, the theme of this year’s African Anti- Corruption day is ‘Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’, and it is important that each country deeply reflect how far they’ve come in this fight. More importantly, to reflect on the kind of leadership Nigeria being the arrow head of this fight had produced, because in truth, like former president Bill Clinton once noted in his speech, we must ensure that “people are more impressed by the power of our example rather than the example of our power”. In retrospect, what examples have Nigeria set that the continent should live by? Is the disunity among the three arms of government or the president’s lackadaisical displays when a member of his cabinet is being accused of corruption? What role has the citizens played in the scheme of things in ensuring that public officers are held to account? In the long run, citizens are either the biggest losers or gainers should the anticorruption war fails or succeeds. As the continent marks its inaugural anti-corruption day today, Africa, and Nigeria in particular must understand that the most reliable and formidable anti-corruption movement must be citizens driven, not government: not Executive, not legislature, not Judiciary. Africa is littered with an anti-corruption history that couldn’t be won by the government or its leadership — or maybe one that neither the government nor its leadership was desperate and sincere to put out. From such time tested perspective, it is no wonder why the anticorruption war has never been won, it is why the President Buhari’s government anticorruption “noise” had eventually dwindle down, It is why the country wakes up every passing day  and had accepted that the government led anticorruption fights had gone in shambles, past the point of return, and even though we knew it was coming with the shambolic way and manner the Nigerian government had conducted itself over the years, there is still this sense of collective failure/loss we must feel as citizens.

To win this war against corruption, Africa and Nigeria in particular must re-strategize and without fail re-set its priorities’ such that it places much emphasis on citizens in leading the fight against corruption in the continent. Citizens must be united in taking responsibility of the future of Nigerian and Africa at large. This is why YIAGA Africa through its #BounceCorruption project had overtime been engaging in activities that seek to promote zero tolerance for corruption and impunity through effective citizens’ oversight and mobilization for open and accountable governance. The project also aims to build resistance against corruption by exposing corrupt practices and demanding prosecution of indicted suspects. This project also mainstreams young people in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.  At the center of YIAGA Africa’s #BounceCorruption project is the promotion of collaboration and networking with different stakeholders involved in the campaign against corruption and impunity in Nigeria. Embedded in this project is the goal to build a movement of youth engaged in reshaping social norms and leading social change and transformation in the society. YIAGA believes that our collective prosperity will largely depend on addressing the reckless attitude of public officials to economic and political governance, systemic fiscal leakages and impunity through the instrumentality of the rule of law and evolution of new norms, attitudes and behavior that abhors corruption: This will require coherence, consistency and pragmatism on the part citizens and state institutions. The world has come to recognize that no anti-corruption program or campaign succeeds without citizens’ involvement or civil society engagement. This is the approach that we believe can effectively reshape the anti-corruption war in Nigeria and Africa at large, and at such should be the new face of the continent’s anti- corruption war for it to ever have any headway.

In marking the inaugural African Anti-Corruption day, the leadership of the African Union and its member countries must reevaluate its approach and intentionally elevate and empower its citizens, especially youths as well as civil society organizations to the forefront of the continent’s anti-corruption warfare, as the current approach that places too much emphasis on governmental leaders is dysfunctional and this approached must not be prolonged to the point of an even more severe decline, and in the cases of Nigeria and some of Africa largest countries, to the point where much systemic damage must have been done to what is already left of its integrity, to the point where posterity would have no iota of strength and vigor to ever revive a fight against a menace that would have been biologically transferred to them. This wouldn’t be a good image for any African country. Today, more than any other day, the African continent: citizens, leadership, and government alike, must reevaluate its approach and accept that now is the time to begin before getting to that stage of a continental colossal damage.

Signed

Samson Itodo

Executive Director

YIAGA AFRICA

 

YIAGA AFRICA’S Pre-Election Observation Findings #3- Press Release

YIAGA AFRICA today released its third report on the pre-election environment in Ekiti State as part of the Watching the Vote Pre-Election Observation or PREO project.  The report summarizes findings from 24 long-term observers who have been deployed in all 16 Local Government Areas of Ekiti State since May 25 to gather systematic information on the pre-election environment, including early warning signs of violence.  The observers are locally recruited and report on activities in their communities using a standard checklist once every two weeks.

The report – which covers the period from June 23 to July 5, 2018 – highlighted four important findings:

First, Watching the Vote observers reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is currently undertaking the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards in all Local Government Areas of the state.  YIAGA Africa called upon all registered voters who have not yet collected their permanent voters’ card from the appropriate ward distribution center to do so before the deadline on Wednesday, July 11.

Second, YIAGA Africa commended INEC for beginning preparations in the state early, which included activities undertaken to inform and educate voters. YIAGA particularly applauded voter education efforts targeted at women, persons with disability and youth.  However, YIAGA observers reported lower levels of voter education activities conducted by both INEC and civil society organisations in this third period as compared to the previous report.

Third, YIAGA Africa noted a high level of campaigning as the election draws near.  YIAGA Africa called on all electoral stakeholders to participate peacefully in the process, including at campaign rallies.

Fourth, YIAGA Africa expressed concern at significant reports of voter inducement as both witnessed and heard of by citizen observers, noting that even rumours of voter inducement can undermine citizen confidence in the integrity of elections.

YIAGA will employ the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) methodology on Election Day – the gold standard for citizen observation. On July 14, WTV will deploy 500 stationary observers to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 25 mobile observers located in all 16 local government areas (LGAs) of Ekiti state. WTV will also deploy 16 collation centre observers to each of the Local Government Area collation centres. This deployment strategy will enable YIAGA Africa to provide timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting as well as to independently verify the official results for the Ekiti gubernatorial election as announced by INEC.

YIAGA Africa is a non-governmental organization promoting democracy, constitutionalism and youth participation in Africa. YIAGA Africa achieves its goal through research, capacity development and policy advocacy. YIAGA Africa has been involved in election observation since 2007 and it is one of the leading organizations working on elections in Nigeria.

For media inquiries please contact:

Moshood Isah

Communication Officer, YIAGA Africa

Tel. +234 (0) 703 666 9339

Email: [email protected]

Learn more about #WatchingTheVote at www.watchingthevote.org or on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/yiaga.org or on Twitter @YIAGA.

Ekiti 2018: Election Observation  Increases  Credibility – INEC PRO tells YIAGA AFRICA

Ahead of the July 14th Governorship Elections in Ekiti State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said, the commitment of election observers will add value to the credibility of the electoral process. The Commission’s Public relations officer IN Ekiti State, Taiwo Gbadegesin said this on Wednesday while addressing YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote Master trainers in Ekiti State

According to Mr Gbadegesin, observers should show keen interest in what the presiding officers will be doing on election. He also urged observers to always draw attention of INEC officials and monitors anytime the need arises.

Speaking on the Commission’s readiness for the Ekiti Governorship elections, he said INEC has stepped down distribution of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to ward level in the state. Mr Gbadegesin expects high turnout of voters saying there is high turnout for PVC collection.

On credibility and transparency of the election, he said “we have updated the software of the smart card reader which will make it impossible to breach”. “No matter how you clone the PVC, you can’t beat the card reader”, he asserted.

He concluded by saying the commission and its staff are not prepared to compromise the process as officials have undergone trainings for the past nine weeks to ensure a credible and hitch-free process.

YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote has successfully conducted refresher training for 42 Master trainers and the WTV team. The Master trainers have since deployed to all 16 Local Government Areas in Ekiti State to train the 500 citizen observers ahead of the July 14th Governorship Elections observation.

On election day, 500 observers will be deployed to 25o sampled polling units to observe, document and report the Election day activities to WatchingTheVote database. YIAGA Africa’s WTV will independently verify the accuracy of the Ekiti Governorship elections result announced by INEC.

 

 

YIAGA Africa AFRICA’s #WatchingTheVote builds National Structure to observe the 2019 General Elections

WatchingTheVote (WTV) has successfully built a National Structure to observe the 2019 Elections.
All is set for the Observation of 2019 general elections after WTV successfully recruited and trained 48 State Focal Points across all the 36 States of Nigeria. The SFPs who were trained on Parallel Vote Tabulation methodology of election observation will be representing the projects ahead of the 2019 elections.
Speaking during the PVT academy in Abuja, YIAGA Africa’s Executive Director Samson Itodo said, citizen observers should not take anything for granted ahead of the 2019 elections. According to him, no matter how we think our elections are becoming credible. “As defenders of democracy, we must build a framework that helps keep in check Nigeria’s Electoral Democracy”, he said
For the 2019 presidential election, the YIAGA WTV will conduct a PVT drawing on statistical principles and using information technology to provide systematic data on the quality of Election Day processes and to verify the accuracy of the official results.
To achieve this, YIAGA will recruit, train and deploy accredited observers to specific polling units in every LGA in the 36 State to systematically collate and rapidly share their reports via coded SMS (text) messages with the WTV Data Centre where the data is analyzed and findings shared with the public.

YouthVotes count lagos

 YIAGA AFRICA Partners INEC on Campus Outreach, Voter Education Program, YouthVotesCount

BasketMouth, A.Y, Omolola Jakade-Ekeinde, and Helen Paul call on students to register and collect their PVCs

On 25th June 2018, even though the rains have come to stay, it was a bright sunny day in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. The J.F Ade Ajayi Auditorium was filled to the brim; the stage alit with bright lights and an impressive panel. All was set for the second Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Campus Outreach in collaboration with YIAGA Africa, and European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).

After a successful debut Campus Outreach in University of Abuja headlined by prominent celebrities such as musicians TuFace “TuBaba” Idibia, Cobhams and comedienne Helen Paul, INEC decided to take the second phase of #YouthsVoteCount to the University of Lagos. This time, the celebrity line-up was made up of Omotola Jakade-Ekeinde, Ayo “AY” Mayokun, BasketMouth and Helen Paul.

As expected, the hall was filled with students who were fans of these celebrities, and the best way to get today’s youth is by imbibing their interest with things they love and appreciate, like the talented four seated at the stage before them. All in all, it was expected to be a rapturous and successful event, and it was!

The Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo, alongside the Programs Manager, Democracy, Governance and Migration for the Delegation of European Union to Nigeria and Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Laolu Olawumi took the stage to welcome the students, and to also indulge everyone on how necessary it was for Nigeria at this moment, to be conversant with the initiative of #YouthsVoteCount. With the incoming 2019 elections gearing closer with each passing day, the importance of getting one’s Permanent Voters Card (PVC) cannot be over-emphasized.

The need for youths to be fully and passionately engaged in governmental matters is immensely necessary, and this was why INEC was making the push for to engage youths from across different tertiary institutions across the country to be fully a part of the movement of #YouthsVoteCount.

The INEC Chairman Professor Yakubu Mahmood, made the welcome address to the students, encouraging them for showing interest in governance and the need to take the electoral process to heart. The panellist answered decisive questions from the audience, who mainly had questions that bridged on the collection of PVCs, the bureaucracy and difficulty that allegedly surrounded it.

Also in attendance was the Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Ketil Karlsen, who gave his thanks to the crowd of students, appreciating their eagerness and efforts of being a part of the movement, and their enthusiasm to know everything they can about collection of PVCs, and the electoral process in general. The celebrities also gave their insights on how the students and youths can get more engaged in the process—by starting up the bare necessity of getting their PVCs. With that hurdle crossed, there will be an assurance of getting and being a part of the 2019 Elections, and hopefully, making their votes count!

 

 

#NotTooYoungToRun Celebration Conference : Optimism as Campaign Launches ReadyToRun

The atmosphere was colorful as the Not Too Young To Run movement, Strategy team, Coordinators, Partners, political bigwigs, young aspirants, lawmakers, most notably the speaker of House of Representatives Hon. Yakubu Dogara turned up to celebrate the success of the Not Too Young To Run campaign as the movement launches the Ready To Run. The next phase of the movement tagged Ready To Run is aimed to inspire young people to run for political office while giving necessary technical support to ensure young people with capacity, win elections.

In the spirit and ambience of celebration, #Nottoyoungtorun Strategic Team, media, international and local partners and others who have directly and indirectly contributed to the successful advocacy milestone of #Nottooyoungtorun Act were all celebrated at the Not Too Young To Run Celebration Conference Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, yesterday in Abuja.

One can safely say that yesterday June 28 2018, the youth in Nigeria achieved another feat and used the opportunity to stamp their feet on the ground and once more emphasize their readiness to not only contest but win some available political spaces come 2019.

The celebration was filled with enthusiasm and hope for the young people in Nigeria, who for once felt considered and relevant in the scheme of political in Nigeria with the signing into law of the age reduction bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, after the Senate and House of Representatives had voted in favour of the bill.

Speaking during the Celebration Conference, Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt Honourable Yakubu Dogara, said the history of democracy globally had been about constant struggle between the included and the excluded. Dogara said majority of people who had been excluded in politics in Nigeria were youths.

He said: “Though the age reduction bill had been signed, it is only the legal barrier that was removed, but there are other barriers left to be conquered in terms of bringing the youth into positions of leadership.

“Barriers like that of economic, institutional and capacity building have to be pulled down for youths who will occupy these offices and without combating these challenges, the benefits of the bill will not be reaped. “Especially removing the financial barriers that stand against youths at the party levels’’, he said.

Dogara urged youths to also build their capacity to run for elective positions ahead of the 2019 elections.

Also giving his remark, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, who was represented by his Special Adviser, Legislative Matters and Strategy, Kingsley Amaku, said that Nigerian youths were the architect of democracy.

Saraki congratulated the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement for contributing to getting the bill signed by the president, adding that it was signed to prepare ground for massive youth election in 2019 poll.

He said that political power should not be left in the hands of a few but should be held in trust, with as many who are able to serve in honesty and in truth including the youth.

Saraki said: “Nigeria cannot do without the energy and innovation of our young people, the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Law reflects the energy possessed by the youth, which shows that today not tomorrow belongs to the youth.

“But it’s not an end to itself, it is the beginning of a journey, because the Not-Too-Young-To-Run movement is not a political party.”

Convener of the movement and Executive Director of YIAGA Africa Samson Itodo said, ‘the successful advocacy milestone of Not Too Young To Run has been a collective and collaborative efforts towards raising young and vibrant leadership that would strategically take our dear country out of the woods’.

Itodo further stated that this celebration conference becomes essential in order celebrate our collective impacts and that of those leaders whom had given unwavering support from the outset of the campaign such as Professor Attahiru Jega, Speaker of the House Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and all the 33 states House of Assemblies that supported the Bills. They have all be in inducted into the Hall of Fame”.

“For so long ours has been a country where young people are not seen as an asset to the national and socio-economic growth and development, ours has been a country that do not perceive younger generation as partner in progress. Ours has been a country that it was almost a crime to be a citizen of this nation” he affirmed.

He added that with #Nottooyountorun Act in place the myriads of challenges and issues of inequality that have hindered full participation young persons in governance would gradually become a thing of the past.

Three panel sessions were held at the conference to intensify conversations around Nigeria’s nascent democratic system of governance and role of young people in its sustainability.

WTV team engaging Police

Election Security: WatchingTheVote team Engages Nigerian Police, NSCDC, Ewi of Ado-Ekiti

Security remains a very important aspect of elections as it determines the safety of Election materials, Officials, Electorates and every other election stakeholder. As a matter of fact, Elections may not happen without adequate security of all election stakeholders before, during and after the elections.

To ensure successful deployment of observers and effective all-round security in the state, WatchingTheVote team paid and Advocacy visit to the Commissioner, Ekiti State Police Command, Bello Ahmed. The team which consist of Board members Prof. Nnamdi Aduba, Dr. Chris Kwaja, Ezenwa Nwagwu, Management members Cynthia Mbamalu, Project Director, Safiya Bichi, Pre-Election Observation and Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Training Manager Paul James discussed extensively on security plans ahead of the elections.

The Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command Bello Ahmed was delighted to receive the WatchingTheVote team members saying the Police are open to partnership for a successful and a hitch free elections observation in the state. Mr Ahmed also reiterated that YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote observers will get all the needed support from the security agency and also encouraged all observers to have their accreditation tag during election observation.

As it is expected that Security apparatus becomes more effective via inter-agency collaboration, our WatchingTheVote team followed this with an advocacy visit to the Commandant Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Ekiti State Command, Solomon T. Iyamu. The team shared its election observation deployment plan with NSCDC and highlighted the importance of security in the cause of election observation.

The Commandant, Mr Iyamu welcomed YIAGA AFRICA’s Election observation initiative saying YIAGA Africa is a very strategic partner and the Civil Defence is willing to support every legal way to achieve its objectives for the elections.

The team also paid homage to the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Kabayesi Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe Aladesanmi III to discuss its deployment plan ahead of the July 14th Elections.

Ready To Run Movement: Another Opportunity For Young People To Make A Statement

Written by Uzor Darlington 

Recently, there have been a lot of claims from the ruling elites in Nigeria that young people are not ready to run for elective political office, allegedly due to lack of experience and capacity. However, there is good news. Born out of the Not Too Young To Run campaign is the Ready To Run; a non-partisan movement dedicated to inspiring young men and women to run for public office. The movement aims to make a statement that young people have immense capacity to address Africa’s governance challenges.

Ready To Run movement is the first of its kind in Africa, practically ready to train, profile and support young aspirants running for different elective offices, compared to other platforms that only encourage youth participation in governance. Ready To Run will locate competent youths, with integrity and character who are interested in running for elective office, inspire them to successfully run for public office and win, support young aspirants with capacity building, promotion and resources, and link aspirants to training opportunities etc.

The independence of African states from colonial rule signaled strong prospects and hope for a better and prosperous continent. However, that hope never stood the true test of time as it seemed to have been dashed by the plagues of bad leadership, corruption and mismanagement. This is not unconnected to the sad fact that, despite abundance of human and natural resources, Africa is still characterized by penury and underdevelopment.

Africa is unarguably one of the most endowed, fertile regions of the world and the richest continent on earth in terms of natural resources. But today, the image of the world’s most resourced rich continent has been damaged by corruption, mismanagement and bad leadership. Using Nigeria as a case study; abject poverty, infrastructural decay, the king of the jungle; high rate of unemployment pervade the land and mostly corruption—these and more developed out of failure in leadership, mismanagement of resources and corruption, and this has kept Africa and Nigeria in perpetual under-development.

Nigeria in particular has suffered from these menaces more than other African countries. According to the African Development Bank (AFDB), about 152 million Nigerians live on less than $2 a day, representing about 80 percent of the country’s estimated 190 million population. According to the AFDB, which stated this in its 2018 Nigeria Economic Outlook, the level of poverty in the country is unacceptably high.

The experiences of many Middle Eastern and North African countries during the 2011/2012 Arab uprisings show both of these dynamics at work. Youths played a central role in overthrowing autocratic rule in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, sparking protest movements across the Middle East. Young people in the Middle East, especially the growing urban youth population, have been hurt by low wages, unemployment and high food prices that have exacerbated their livelihood.

We must remember that Nigeria is a young nation and was one of those at the forefront for the struggle for African independence. We must also remember that young people have always designed the promise of this country. The heroes of our past, our founding fathers, people like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa, Saudauna of Sokoto, Aminu Kano, or Obafemi Awolowo, initiated and realized the most important projects of their lives as young people.

Despite comprising more than half of the Nigerian total population, her youths have been historically marginalized from entering political space be it at the state or federal level. Aspiring to increase youth’s participation in Nigerian politics, the YIAGA Africa launched the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign which is a movement of youths and civil society groups advocating for the reduction of age for running for elective offices to mainstream young men and women in electoral politics.

We can agree that the Not Too Young To Run is Nigeria’s largest and most successful youth movement in recent times. The movement is driven by the compelling need to restructure the country’s political system, to address the deeply entrenched and undemocratic political exclusion, to institute inclusive politics, transformative leadership and electoral competitiveness in the electoral process. The historic Bill which was recently signed into law by President Muhammad Buhari will definitely increase the number of young people running for various elective offices, especially with the help of the Ready To Run campaign. Ready To Run is poised to solve this African Leadership problems by grooming ethnical young leaders with innovative ideas, capacity and character to change the narrative come 2019.

 

Uzor Darlington is a passionate youth activist and development enthusiast. He is a Program Officer for the (Ready to Run) team at the Youth Department of YIAGA Africa.

PRESS RELEASE: VICTORY FOR THE ANTI-CORRUPTION CRUSADE

Another Victory for Anti-Corruption Fight

The war against corruption in Nigeria recorded another victory as two ex-governors were convicted for misappropriation of public funds. Jolly Nyame was convicted by a high court of the Federal Capital Territory to serve a jail term of fourteen (14) years for diverting N1.64 billion, while Joshua Dariye was also sentenced to fourteen (14) years for misappropriating N1.16 billion ecological funds while he governed the state between 1999-2007. This feat clearly shows that the fight against corruption and impunity is gradually becoming a reality and we hope to see more of this across board.

YIAGA Africa would like to commend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for this laudable stride in ensuring that justice prevailed despite the length of time involved. Also, YIAGA Africa would like to commend Justice Adebukola Banjoko who deserves some accolades for dispensing justice without fear or favor while calling on other judges of the appellate courts to exhibit boldness in ensuring that justice prevails at all times so as to restore public confidence in the judiciary and ensure that the administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015 is implemented.

This shows that the fight against corruption can only succeed with the cooperation of the judiciary and sets a precedent for a string of similar pending cases. The convictions of Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye are a good step in the right direction and would boost anti-corruption efforts and potentially help to speed up pending cases; it also gives hope to ordinary Nigerians that the long arm of the law will always catch up with corrupt public office holders. With the diligence of the EFCC in prosecuting these cases, we are hopeful the nation will witness more convictions of former corrupt political office holders.

Corruption is a deep rooted problem which has taken its toll on the government, people, infrastructure, business and life of the average Nigerian. The impact of corruption perpetuated by the likes of Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame is the reason why we have hindered growth and development in the country. Lack of basic amenities, low level of qualitative education and the fact that millions of Nigerians die due to poor health care system is a direct consequence of corruption. It is against this back drop that YIAGA Africa launched the Bounce Corruption Project to among other things, urge Nigerians to own the anti-corruption fight by holding their leaders to account and blow the whistle where they detect a corrupt act.

YIAGA Africa wishes to implore the government of Nigeria and the EFCC to take the anti-corruption crusade a step further by recovering stolen monies and investing it in public service to benefit the state. YIAGA Africa is a non-profit organization that promotes democratic governance, human rights and youth political participation.

Signed

Executive Director

YIAGA AFRICA

YIAGA Africa commends EFCC over conviction of Dariye, Nyame

Another Victory for Anti-Corruption Fight

The war against corruption in Nigeria recorded another victory as two ex-governors were convicted for misappropriation of public funds. Jolly Nyame who was convicted by a high court of the Federal Capital Territory to refund monies diverted and serve a jail term of fourteen (14) years for diverting N1.64 billion, while Joshua Dariye was also convicted to serve a jail term of fourteen (14) years for misappropriating N1.16 billion ecological funds while he governed the state between 1999-2007. This feat clearly shows that the fight against corruption and impunity is gradually becoming a reality and we hope to see more of this thread across board.

YIAGA Africa commends the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for this laudable stride for ensuring that justice prevailed despite the length of time involved. YIAGAAFRICA also commends Justice Adebukola Banjoko who deserves some accolades for dispensing justice without fear or favor. This shows that the fight against corruption can only succeed with the cooperation of the judiciary and sets a precedent for a string of similar pending cases.

The convictions of Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye are a good step in the right direction and would boost anti-corruption efforts and potentially help to speed up pending cases, with the diligence of the EFCC on prosecuting these cases. We are hopeful the nation will witness more convictions of former corrupt political office holders.  YIAGA Africa also wishes to urge the Appeal and Supreme Court to ensure that justice prevails at all times to restore public confidence in the judiciary

Corruption is a deep rooted problem which has taken its toll on the government, people, infrastructure, business and life of the average Nigerian. The impact of corruption in Nigeria is felt by every layer of the population. People have to survive in the country where rules can be omitted if you have money and this has tremendously widened the gap between the poor and the rich which has led to lack of good roads and portable water, poor educational and health facilities. It is on this basis that YIAGA Africa launched the Bounce Corruption Project to among other things, urge Nigerians to support the anti-corruption fight by holding their leaders to account and blow the whistle where they detect a corrupt act.

YIAGA Africa wishes to implore the government of Nigeria and the EFCC to take it a step further by recovering these stolen monies and invest it in public service that will benefit the state.

 

Signed

Executive Director

YIAGA AFRICA