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Corrupt officials are waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari to leave office so they can keep looting the country, a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), headed by Prof. Itse Sagay, said at the weekend.

The PACAC member, Prof. Femi Odekunle, said corruption grew unprecedentedly before Buhari came into power.

He spoke at the pre-inaugural lecture of the Olusegun Obasanjo Good Governance and Development Research Centre, organised by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) in Abuja.

Odekunle, who spoke on: ”Fighting Corruption in Nigeria: The Journey so far”, said corruption, since 1999, became endemic, pervasive and systemic in virtually all areas of the country’s public and corporate existence, adding that those who governed the country during that period ran it like a “criminal racket”.

According to him, virtually every category of Nigeria’s “leadership is implicated in corruption”.

“Prior to the Buhari administration, corruption continued to fester and its control largely half-hearted and utterly ineffective.

“Except for 1975/76 and 1984-85, the status of corruption in the country described by the late Major Nzeogwu in January, 1966, has not only remained in its essence, but has grossly deteriorated from one regime to another.

“It has been endemic, pervasive and systemic in virtually all areas of our public and corporate existence. At the top and indexing the untoward situation are the post-1999 myriad of un-sanctioned “scams” (such as Halliburton/Siemens, Police-Pension/Pensions, OPL 245/Malabo, and others associated with certain ministers, heads/functionaries of MDAs, governors, legislatures, judicial officers, banks) – to some extent that the country appears to be run like a criminal “racket” with nigeria@419.com as a derisive email address.



”Virtually every category of our leadership is implicated as shown by an official release that between 2006 and 2013, N1.34 trillion was stolen by about 50 people.

“The consequences of corruption for the nation over the period continue to be devastating to the extent that it is ‘killing’ the polity economically, politically, and socio-culturally, resulting in unjustifiable underdevelopment,” he said.

He said the fight against corruption would continue to fail, if the government continued to adopt legal and technical approach in fighting it.

According to him, while anti-corruption efforts and achievements of the new administration are sincere and commendable, there remains a challenge, which must be addressed with conventional/routine measures and “out-of-the-box” thinking strategy.

Odekunle called for a presidential truth and restitution task force on corruption.

A former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Malam Nuhu Rubadu said corruption had remained mind-boggling that successive governments had strived to eradicate.

Ribadu, who was chairman of the occasion, hailed the judiciary and legislature for their support in the fight against corruption.

He said the Supreme Court rejected all efforts to whittle-down powers of EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

“We have had amazing judgments that often become golden references in support of the war against corruption. For example, all efforts to whittle down the powers of EFCC and ICPC have been vehemently rejected by the Supreme Court,” he said.

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