Rich Nigerians Must Tell Us The Sources of Their Wealth – Osinbajo

Rich Nigerians Must Tell Us The Sources of Their Wealth – Osinbajo

The Vice-President-elect, Prof.Yemi Osinbajo,
on Friday explained how the Muhammadu
Buhari administration would prosecute the anti-graft war, saying that Nigerians must question sources of wealth of the rich.

Osinbajo, while delivering the keynote address at the Abuja edition of The Platform, said the incoming administration would ensure zero tolerance for corruption by reforming the Justice
system.

He said within the last few years, what the
country had experienced was a situation where people got away with corrupt practices, noting that going forward; the incoming government
would make sure that corrupt people suffer the consequences of their actions.

He said when people are made to suffer the
consequences of corrupt practices; it would send a strong message to everyone that the era of looting of the treasury was over.

He said, “We have always talked about zero tolerance for corruption but it is also important that people are made to understand that there will be consequence for corruption.
“What we have seen so far is that there is hardly
any consequence and people simply get away
with it and if you get away with it often, it sends a message to everyone that there is no problem,
and we need to fix that whole thinking that there has to be a consequence for corrupt practices.

“People have to explain, for instance, if you are
a public servant, that how come you have 50
houses. Somebody needs to ask you those
questions and some of the reasons people get
away with that is our criminal justice system.”

He said in view of the fact that the incoming
administration would be taking the fight against
corruption seriously, one of the reforms that
would first be carried out is in the judicial
system.

The Vice-President- elect said the nation’s
judicial system as presently constituted was slow, adding that this had made it easy for people to get away with criminal acts.

He said, “Our criminal justice system needs to
be fixed. The system is slow and it almost
always ensures that people who have been
charged with offenses would not be tried forever and after a while people forget that people are on trial.

“We have to fix that criminal justice system to ensure that criminal trials are speedy and that anyone who is guilty of an offense will be punished for that offense.

“So there are so many initiatives around what we need to do in that area. The United States has 300 million people and they have 2.2 million people in jail. We have 170 million people and
we have convicted people of just 12,000.

“Now if you add those awaiting trials, it comes
to about 50,000 but actual convicted people are just 12,000. Truly it shows you that there is a failure somewhere of our criminal justice
system, practically every one of us knows
somebody who has stolen something.

“The truth is that the system of protection,
investigation and trial of people is wrong and the
truth is that everybody gets away with
criminality in Nigeria and I think there is a need for us to review the system such that it begins to work.”

In the area of policing, Osinbajo said a country
as big as that of Nigeria needed community
policing. He said it would be difficult for the Nigerian Police Force in its present form to fight crime in an effective manner owing to what he described
as structural problems.

He said, “We need to look at law and order. The question of policing our society, how do we
police this country? At the moment we know
that policing is ineffective.

“If the police want to deal with the criminals,
you and I know that they are hampered from
doing so, they are hampered structurally, they are hampered by the fact that they are not as well equipped as they ought to be, and they are not resourced as they ought to be but the structural problem is the major one.

“A country of this size needs some form of
community policing because criminality is
always local, we need to have policemen who
understand the local language, who live in the local community, who understand the language. So there is logic in it to have community
policing.”

The event powered by Covenant Christian
Centre had the theme: “Business and
governance.”

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