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NLC: scrap security vote, immunity - Nigeria News - Talk Africana

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NLC: scrap security vote, immunity by AndrewO: 4:1 pm On 7 Jul 2016
NLC: scrap security vote, immunity
by Our Reporter, July 20, 2016 at 12:07 am in
Featured , News
•Anti-corruption war not selective, says
Makarfi
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called
for the abolition of security vote for the
president and governors.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba told the News
Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja
that security vote had become an avenue for
siphoning public funds.
“The issue of security vote is another form of
corruption; in fact, there was a particular state
which took N1 billion in one month as security
vote.
“It is an avenue for corruption. In good
governance, all monies spent by government
are budgeted and transparently applied.
“That is what happens in other spheres; so for
our sake, the issue of security vote should be
done away with.
“All monies to be spent should be
transparently budgeted for, including the so-
called security vote, so that it can be tracked,
to prevent corruption.”
Also, Wabba called for the removal of the
immunity clause from the constitution, to
enable the president, his vice, governors and
their deputies to be prosecuted for a criminal
offence.
He noted that such political leaders in other
parts of the world do not enjoy immunity
against criminal prosecution, adding that
Nigeria should not be an exception.
The NLC president said that immunity was
hindering the fight against corruption and
decried a situation whereby political office
holders could not be prosecuted for criminal
offence.
“Even after they leave office, they use their
influence and resources they have
accumulated to frustrate prosecution.
“I have seen cases that lasted for eight to 14
years and were inconclusive. Some of these
cases outlived the life of the administration
that started the probe, due to this particular
challenge.
“There are some cases that started before the
administration of former President Olusegun
Obansajo till now, it is still ongoing.
Waba said that nobody should be given
immunity against criminal prosecution while in
office.
He, therefore, stressed the need to review the
constitution to address loopholes that gave
room for some political leaders to steal the
commonwealth.
Also yesterday, Chairman, National Caretaker
Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party,
Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, advocated institutional
reforms to shield security votes from abuse.
Makarfi, a former governor of Kaduna State,
gave the advice in an interview with NAN in
Kaduna.
He said it was important “to set up a
machinery for an institutional reform on how
security votes are managed.
“This affects not only the federal government,
because if you come down to the states, you
are going to find similar happenings.
“Even local government chairmen have
security votes and you are going to find that
their expenditure follows similar pattern.”
The PDP national chairman also spoke on the
corruption war embarked by the Federal
Government, saying that the war was not
politically-motivated.
He however cautioned against targeting the
wrong people so as not to derail the anti-
corruption war.
According to him, the government and security
agencies have the right to invite people to
explain issues that might arise in the course
of investigation “weather you are in PDP or
not, whether you are a politician or not.”
“If am to be fair, I will not say it is politics.
“If you are invited purely on the issue of
campaign funds, anybody can be invited to
explain, it depends on the essence of the
report.’’
Makarfi said in doing so, the government
should avoid targetting “middlemen” and
concentrate on “those who know the source
of the money’’ being investigated.
The former governor stressed that the
government should investigate and prosecute
those who approved and released public funds
illegally.
“You should be right to do so provided you
know that the funds are from illegitimate
source.”
The PDP national chairman also warned
against investigating funds donated to political
parties for campaigns, insisting that if the
government wanted to do so, it must
“investigate all donations.
“In all these issues, you have to be careful to
be able to find out for what purpose the funds
were meant for, because sometimes. they
may not be purely for political reasons.
“You have to get the facts right, because
under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) for instance,
we had contracts and money for politics.
“If you are going to look deeply, definitely
religious leaders, traditional rulers and other
national figures must have gotten some share
too,” he said.

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