The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) says it will organise a protest at the Lagos offices of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The anti-corruption group said its staging of the protest would remind EFCC and ICPC of their responsibilities to investigate pending corruption cases under their watch.
In a statement by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, HEDA emphasised the urgency for the agencies to take immediate action in investigating corruption cases involving high-profile individuals and politically exposed persons.
HEDA said it had previously unveiled a compendium titled “Impunity Galore: A Chronicle of Some Unresolved High-Profile Corruption Cases in Nigeria from 1999 – 2022.”
The compendium highlights cases of national importance that have been ignored or poorly investigated by the anti-graft agencies and the National Assembly Ad hoc and Joint Committees responsible for investigating allegations of corruption.
“According to the compendium, the cases mentioned involve a staggering total of over $825 billion.
“It is evident that if these funds had been utilised judiciously, Nigeria could have made significant strides towards becoming a developed nation with modern infrastructure, social support systems, and improved living conditions for its citizens,” HEDA said.
The agency added that it is against this backdrop that it will organise the protest to again draw attention to the issue of corruption and the unresolved corruption cases in Nigeria.
The group firmly believes this proactive approach is essential in curbing corruption and restoring public trust in the fight against corruption.
It said the protest would commence at the EFCC zonal office and subsequently move to the ICPC office in Lagos.
Both ICPC and EFCC were formed in 2000 and 2003, respectively, and have the authority to investigate, prevent, and prosecute incidents of corruption.
The U.S. government had accused them of only probing “low- and mid-level government officials” and delaying procedures where high-level officials are indicted for financial crimes.
“In 2019, both organisations started investigations into and brought indictments against various active and former high-level government officials. Many of the corruption cases, particularly the high-profile ones, remained pending before the court due to administrative or procedural delays,” the U.S. said in its ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria.’
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