The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has said that the underline principles of the whistle blowing policy is the political good will and the desire to demonstrate the political good will of the Federal Government is also seen in the fight against corruption.
Malami made this assertion when he appeared on NTA Live Programme: Good Morning Nigeria to discuss on the WHISTLE BLOWERS POLICY of the Federal Government on Tuesday February 28, 2017 in Abuja.
The Minister explained that Nigeria is a member of the London Summit on the Anti-Corruption as well as the Open Government Partnership. He added that the International Consensus in the fight against corruption to demonstrate the political good will is put across by Nigerians from the Communiqué that arose from the London Summit.
He further reiterated that the political good will was aimed at exposing Corruption and mismanagement of public resources and the essence of it are meant to carry the public along and building the consensus that encompasses the fight against corruption. The Whistle Blowing is a temporary policy that allows the public to take part in fighting corruption. The law carries more weight than a policy statement, he added.
The Minister stressed that the responsibility for Law making is based on the Legislature, therefore the idea of looking for Legal frame work does not arise. He added that on the part of the Executive to transmit to National Assembly, associated bill that is supposed to be all encompassing to come in place.
He explained that “the government position as far as Whistle Blowing is concerned as it is now, is that transaction between individuals particularly and the Contractors transactions forms part of the whistle blowing and I’m happy equally to state that the trends now is that Nigerians begin to appreciate the public interest in the context of the integrity in the society much more than individual interest”.
The Attorney General of the Federation gave instance of cases whereby wife came over as a Whistle Blower against her husband of certain acquisition over public funds without him conceding to her demand that the fund should be returned. Also another instance of blood brothers coming over to give information. In some cases and without making any demand.
The Minister explaining further, “I think it’s a policy that has been accommodated by Nigerians and may be having regards that are on-going. One thing is clear as far as looted funds areconcerned; we have Consolidated Revenue Account, Treasure Single Account (TSA) and Assets Recovery Account. All these accounts are maintained by the Federal Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation”.
He further explained that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation doesnot maintain a single account and that all the recovery made has been paid into the government account.“Whatever that has been recovered overtime is analysed and the one that is supposed to go to the Consolidated Account is paid , the ones for the TSA goes in and the ones which awaits assets order goes into the Assets Recovery Account pending the Legal process”, he added.
Malami said that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation is simply that of Recovery and onward transmission into the government account where it’s being maintained and managed.
The Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Honourable Ado Doguwa, who was on the program stressed that notwithstanding the urgency of the Whistle Blowing Bill and what it is hoped to achieve, the legislative procedure and process must be followed.
Earlier, the Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said that the Whistle Blowing Bill pending at the National Assembly should be passed without further delay for the purpose of its importance and also to avoid the negative effects on those that are willing to offer their services.
He added that the Whistle Blowers act is part of the Mechanism of dealing with corruption, which is also part of the conceptual and practical mechanism.
Senior Information Officer
For: AD (Information)