Nigerians Should Support This Govt Or Kiss The Country Goodbye – Sagay

Nigerians Should Support This Govt Or Kiss The Country Goodbye – Sagay
Posted by Ifeanyi Okugbo on 2017-02-27 10:51:41 (208 Views)

Nigerians Should Support This Govt Or Kiss The Country Goodbye – Sagay
Why must a profesor be talking like this?

What's he up to?


Professor Itsay Sagay is a constitutional lawyer, known for his forthrightness and relentless stand against corruption. In the present government, he chairs the Presidential Committee on Anti-corruption. Sagay bares his mind on some burning national issues to Muazu Elazeh.

What is your take on the current anti-corruption war by this administration?
Fantastic. It’s the best the country has ever seen and it needs the support of everybody. It is consistent, it’s on track and we have men of highest integrity with the greatest records. Can you have anybody better than Buhari who has a record that is longer than 30 years from when he first came to power as military Head of State or the records of Professor Osinbajo, Mr. integrity, who is not only a pastor but is also known for his straight forwardness? The country is extremely lucky to have two men like this as the head of the country fighting corruption now. It’s the best.

There are concerns in some quarters that the administration is merely chasing shadows on all fronts?
What does that mean, what shadows are they chasing? There is no point just saying they are chasing shadows, tell us what they shadows are. You hear that from the PDP people who stole the country dry, who emptied our treasury and poured sand into it for this government to come and meet; who totally wrecked our treasury and left this country poor and wretched without even caring about the state of the poor people of this country. They are so shameless and conscienceless that they don’t feel sorry for what they did, instead they attack the man who is trying to pick us out of the hole and trying to restore us. If this government did not come, Nigeria would have disintegrated because there was nothing to survive us.

You chair the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption. How far has your committee gone in supporting the fight against corruption?
We have done a tremendous job. We have interacted with judges all over the country. We met not less than 70 judges all together and interacted with them on how to deal with corruption cases and apply the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in effectively dealing with corruption cases. We have also prepared a manual for prosecuting corruption cases which we have presented to the anti-corruption bodies to use in order to equip their capacity to prosecute cases. We have trained prosecutors, about 160 of them, all over the country, on how to draft charges and how to prosecute cases. We have done it to all federal prosecutors and we are now going to states to train their prosecutors on how to draft charges for prosecuting cases. We have prepared protocols in key areas. We drafted a law for the establishment of special criminal court. The list is endless.

What is your take on the delay in confirming the acting EFCC Boss?
It is corruption fighting back because this is one of the best appointees we have ever had in the fight against corruption. If you look at it, he is a Nuhu Ribadu’s incarnate. He is incorruptible, indomitable, and indefatigable. You can’t approach him. He work round the clock, his face is so hard you can’t try to dissuade him, and they know that. Many of the people who are opposing it have cases and they know he is going to come after them. So its corruption fighting back. Nobody is going to surrender to people who want corruption to be the culture of this country. We will frustrate them. All these cases which are being delayed for example if you go to the Code of Conduct Tribunal where witness was cross examined for one months by senior advocates who know the law, who ought to have sense of ethics and justice, they hope that by doing that they will drag out the case. That is corruption fighting back. The fact that the president is ill and many of them are happy and already writing obituaries on his behalf that is corruption fighting back. But we will defeat them, we will fight back harder and crush them.

This reminds one of the issue of widespread allegation of corruption in the judiciary. At what point did this menace creep into the noble profession?
It started in the late 90s and early this century, when the high quality judges started leaving the apex court. Those judges were so great that their greatness permeated down to the high court level and so we had a good system going on. When they started leaving, a new culture started coming in- people of smaller minds started coming- and then those terrible things began to happen. In 2007, after the Yar’Adua election, we had an Attorney-general whose mandate was to buy the Supreme Court judges. He had his contact man at the Supreme Court and he started buying the judges. This is how terrible money came into the Supreme Court, and they started buying our judges and destroyed the sanctity of the judiciary. That election that brought Yar’Adua to power was when the greatest disservice to the judicial dignity, sanctity and authority was done. That was when the rot really exploded.

What role should Nigerians be seen to be playing in the face of all these?
Nigerians should not tolerate corruption. They should stop saying stupid things like when there was corruption, life was easier. There are some stupid Nigerians who talk like that forgetting that at that time oil was $110 per barrel and now its $37, forgetting that at that time the Niger-Delta Avengers did not destroy anything and we are getting 2.7 million barrels a day; now we are getting less than one million. And they are now saying corruption was better. Those very stupid Nigerians should realize that this regime that we now have is a regime that has come to save the country. They should support it strongly for the sake of their own future and that of their children and great grandchildren. If we do not support this government to succeed, we can kiss Nigeria good bye





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