by Inyali Peter, Calabar
Following the re-invigoration of war against corrupt government officials by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies, the Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo has disclosed that the state is set to establish its own ant-graft agency.
The Speaker, who stressed that the Assembly is set to back the plans with legislation, stated this while addressing members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Civil Society Organizations and Trade Unions who had stormed the Assembly complex on a national rally for good governance.
Hon. Lebo maintained that the fights against corruption need to be taken more seriously as it has permeated every aspect of governance and the society.
He noted that in Nigeria, public office holders in the executive arm of government have proven to be more corrupt compared to the legislative arm which has always played a watchdog function over the years.
To ensure strict compliance with the state appropriation laws, according to him, there is the need to set up a special agency empowered by law to monitor possible financial misappropriation, recklessness and wanton looting of the state treasury by public office holders in the state.
Expressing the commitment of the 8th assembly to tackle corruption indiscriminately in the state through their oversight function, the Speaker said, “I enjoined the labour unions to also extend the anti–corruption crusade to the private sector.”
Earlier, the chairman, NLC, Cross River State chapter comrade John Ushie who described corruption as the single bane to good governance in the country decried that the act has eaten deep into the nation’s fabrics and has affected all spheres of the economy.
While pledging the NLC’s preparedness to partner the Legislature in the fight against corruption, he urged the Assembly to institute a legal framework for the establishment of anti-corruption courts in the state as well as mandating public declaration of assets by public office holders.
According to him, the NLC is totally in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to probing corrupt practices and every effort to recover stolen funds by corrupt citizens.