Opening Remarks by Comrade Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman, Centre For Anti-Corruption And Open Leadership, CACOL, at the Exploratory Conference on the Lagos Open Parliament (Part four), LOP-4, held on 3 May, 2018 at the RIGHTS HOUSE, 48, Adeniyi Jones Street, Off Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos
I, on behalf of the entire members of the Centre For Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, am glad to welcome you all to this event. We deeply appreciate the honour you bestowed on us as demonstrated by the timely arrival of everyone here today, for this Exploratory Conference; a key component of the process that will culminate in our periodic Publication called the ‘Lagos Open Parliament, LOP’. We say, a big thank you to all for coming.
Majority of us here today, are conversant with the LOP and can simply aver that, “there goes CACOL again, doing what they know how to do best”. But some are probably just getting to know about the LOP as a Project of our Centre for the first time. It thus becomes imperative to give a background on what the LOP is all about. I therefore crave your indulgence to briefly do so.
The LOP, as a project of CACOL, focuses on the periodic analysis of government’s general performance in Lagos State. The programme utilizes public and media assessments’ of government’s performance including field work (empirical and practical assessments). The research strategy deploys government activities with the goal of ensuring transparency and accountability. The tool includes questionnaires, interviews, news analysis, visual investigations involving the usage of videos and photographs etc.
This exploratory meeting involves gathering of citizens from all local governments in Lagos State to give individual and collective opinions on governance in Lagos State as it affects budgetary implementation and to advise if the tools used and the data collated so far is adequate for such assessment, and if not adequate, this conference is meant to advise on other plausible means of assessing budgetary implementation in Lagos State.
The present LOP is the fourth in the series; the first and second editions were published in 2012 and 2014 respectively during the administration of the immediate past governor of Lagos state. The third edition was done in 2016 during the tenure of the present governor Mr Akinwumi Ambode. The present edition, LOP 4, currently under processing is the second under this administration. It is intended to assess budgetary implementation in Lagos State within the last two years. It is also to serve as an avenue to find out areas that we ought to assess and which we are yet to, as well as a channel to find out if there are areas we have over-assessed that the Lagos public would want us to adjust. This is with a view to ascertaining what the expectations of citizens are so that the State Government can make additional efforts towards meeting them.
We therefore, ask everyone here, to mobilize his or her compatriots towards indentifying the projects we are going to mention here and others that you know of that the Government is embarking on in your area and might not have been captured by what we have compiled so far.
Since our research strategy utilizes different tools to carry out what we consider to be self-assigned patriotic task of monitoring government activities; including questionnaires, interviews, news analysis, visual investigations involving usage of videos and photographs etc., we want you to utilize all the channels that are open to us to give us feedback, so that your contribution will be part and parcel of the final compilation that is going to be published as a booklet called LAGOS OPEN PARLIAMENT 4:
Everybody here is expected to respond to a questionnaire right here and whatever your individual input through the questionnaire shall be computed with the one we have earlier gathered. We also expect you to take some copies of the questionnaire of which photocopies you can also make for other compatriots back home, so they can also respond in their own way and you can transmit them back to us through electronic media if physical return of them may be difficult for you. The electronic links to the LOP-4 questionnaire are: https://goo.gl/forms/EAXMlEVPUlKZRH5C3, #
The LOP, as a Project of our Centre, was conceived to be done annually but dearth of fund and hands, it has not been easy to meet such annual target. For this therefore, we solicit everyone’s cooperation in our efforts to make our government more accountable, more responsible, more responsive to the citizenry who are the original owners of the instrument of governing that is entrusted to the government for public good.
I want to conclude by thanking you all again for honouring our invitation. Please we encourage us all to participate in the deliberations which we promise to be very incisive. We also urge you all to be diligent and candid in your responses to the questionnaires which is meant to enhance true assessment of infrastructural development of our State.
The Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to expedite its investigations on the $20M bribery scam involving former officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA with the ultimate goal of bringing the culprits to book.
Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the Centre said “it is embarrassing and unacceptable that till date, the $20M bribery scam; an international case has not been seen to logical conclusions where culpability of suspects or otherwise would have been established and with culprits facing the full wrath of the law.”
“This is a case that involved a Swiss company, Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Ltd that has already being found guilty in Switzerland and fined 1 million Swiss Francs accordingly since 2012!”
“What could be taking the EFCC, other anti-corruption agencies and the Federal Government so long to identify the former NPA officials that received the bribe and bring them to justice just like it has been done in Switzerland? The fact that the Swiss government had sent its report on the bribery scam which indicted the NPA officials to the FG since 2012 makes the situation curious as far as logic is concerned. The case mocks Nigeria’s anti-corruption drive within the comity nations and something must be by the authorities.”
“Again, we hear from media reports that the indicted companies are still bidding for contracts at the NPA while the $20M bribery scam remain judiciously unresolved. We note that such moves indicate that the case has been ‘resolved’ and business can continue as usual.”
“As such, we are therefore calling on the EFCC and other relevant agencies to move beyond ‘we are investigating’ to practical, expeditious and lawful means to bring those behind the bribery scam to justice no matter how highly placed they are in the society. Nigeria cannot continue to carry an image created by only a few persons via their incurable greed, lust for lucre and self-aggrandizement.” Adeniran concluded
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, hereby presents to the general Public, its nominees for CACOL INTEGRITY AWARDS, (CIA) 2017 for scrutiny and assessment in terms of the worthiness and suitability of the awards for the nominated receipts. CACOL is via this medium requesting the public to put forward any reason why any of its nominees for the esteemed awards are deservedly qualified or unqualified.
This is to instill integrity and consensus in the process of picking the winners of the CIA for broad acceptance as it is traditional in CACOL’s tradition.
We implore all and sundry not hesitate to bare their minds and facts for or against any of the nominees to ensured that only the most genuinely deserving persons receive the prestigious awards.
BRIEF ON CACOL INTEGRITY AWARDS
Our organization, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL is up till December 28, 2016 known as Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders. CACOL is an aggregate of human rights, community based, and civil society organizations and individuals with anti-corruption and openness in governance agenda across Nigeria. It is a non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian, non-profit organization.
CACOL sets for itself the tasks of promoting accountability, openness in governance and using any available means to cause relevant authorities to probe and bring to book corrupt leaders both in public and private institutions. We also strive to protect interest of persons or groups found to be victims or potential victims of corrupt practices or processes of manipulation and violation of human rights. The decision to embark on the journey was taken in 2007 in view of the need to confront, once and for all the monster that is ravaging all facets of our national life in Nigeria – Corruption.
We decided to do this with and on behalf of millions of hapless Nigerians who have by a choice that is not theirs, fallen or are potential victims of corrupt leaders. This monster torments ordinary people of Nigeria in all areas of their endeavour. We have to confront it with a view to defeating it because it has to be done, not by ghosts or citizens of other nations but by Nigerians who have pride in themselves to be full-blooded Nigerians. Our promotion and pursuance of ‘open leadership’ is hinged on our belief that it will facilitate transparency and accountability in governance while also plugging the holes of corruption.
Due to the endemic corruption that is ravaging our county with many of our former men and women of integrity dipping their hands into the pot of sleaze, CACOL sees the urgent need to encourage the few corruption fighters, both living and dead, in order to serve as catalyst to other corruption fighters to be resolute in their fight against the menace in Nigeria, hence the justification for the CACOL INTEGRITY AWARDS (CIA)
The Awards which was conceived to be given annually seek to appreciate the contributions of some individuals to the anti-corruption fight in the country. There are six (6) different categories:
Hero of Integrity Award: This category of award is for persons who are still in active service with the opportunity of engaging in corrupt practices but resist being influenced by privileges at their disposal.
Icon of Integrity Award: This award is for persons who have remained consistent in the fight against corruption and never wavered for a minimum of ten (10) years.
Symbol of Integrity Award: This category of award is conferred on persons who have passed through public and private life without corruption blemish.
Legend of Integrity Award: This award is conferred on persons, either living or dead, whose name or personality has become a reference point when discussing the crusade against corruption.
Martyr of Integrity Award: This category of award is conferred on persons who died fighting corruption and protecting goodness.
Integrity Man of the Year Award: This is conferred on persons that contributed something significant in the fight against corruption in a particular year.
For the maiden edition of CACOL Integrity awards, the following persons were conferred the awards.
NAMES OF 2013 AWARDEES
Late Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi Legend of Integrity
Professor Tan David-West Symbol of Integrity
Alhaji Lateef Jakande Symbol of Integrity
Razaq Bamidele Hero of Integrity
Corporal Azeez Arogundade Hero of Integrity
NAMES OF 2014 AWARDEES
Late Pa. Anthony Enahoro Symbol of Integrity
Tunji Braithwaite Symbol of Integrity
(Mrs.) Keziah Awosika Symbol of Integrity
Primate Olapade Agoro Icon of Integrity
Dipo Fashina Icon of Integrity
Late Com. Baba Omojola Legend of Integrity
For this year’s edition, the following persons who have demonstrated sufficient resistance against corruption have been nominated to be conferred with the CACOL INTEGRITY AWARDS (CIA), 2017. The award ceremony is billed for the first week of September, 2017 when the 10 year Ann
Mr Ibrahim Magu Integrity Man of the Year
Comrade Hassan Sumonu Symbol of Integrity
Christopher Kolade Legend of Integrity
(Mrs.) Sophie Oluwole Symbol of Integrity
Festus Iyayi (Post Humus) Martyr of Integrity
Eskor Toyo (Post Humus) Legend of Integrity
Mr Omoyele Sowore Hero of Integrity
Late Barr. Alao Aka-Bashorun (Post Humus) Martyr of Integrity
Late Com. Barr. Kanmi Ishola-Osobu (Post Humus) Legend of Integrity
Babajide Kolade-Otitoju Icon of Integrity
While counting on the unbiased and honest comments, critiques or support from the public in this process, we give our profound appreciations for the anticipated contributions of all and sundry.
Yours in service to humanity
Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL