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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has condemned in very strong terms the Bill before the House of Representatives, HOR seeking Amnesty for perpetrators of corruption. The Centre also called on Nigerians to mandate their Representatives to ensure that the pro-corruption bill does not become an Act by rejecting it wholesomely.
The proposed law seeks to give the looters leeway to escape any form of probe, inquiry or prosecution after fulfilling certain conditions.
The bill in part proposes a total and comprehensive amnesty for all declarants from all otherwise repercussions under Nigerian laws and further provides that all such declarations shall be inadmissible in evidence against the declarant except in ‘matters of national security’.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, stating the position of the Centre said “if the bill is allowed to become law, it would encourage corruption with impunity.
What the country needs at this time are laws that would strengthen the anti-corruption war and ensure punishment for looters.”
 “This bill is uncalled for because the only thing it will achieve is to encourage people to steal and return part of the money for amnesty.
At the end, it will still be victory for corruption and that is not good for the development of the country.”
Adeniran also supported the decision of the government to publish names of looters, saying the move would go a long way in discouraging corruption, while urging the government to ensure judicious use of recovered looted funds so as to impact on the lives of the masses.

“Yes, the decision of the Federal Government to publish names of looters following a court order is a welcome development. We cannot say we are fighting corruption when people steal money at the expense of the generality of Nigerians and they cannot be identified, so the development is good for the anti-corruption war. However, the government must also ensure recovered monies are channeled into development projects.” He said “It is not justifiable to have bad roads, unemployment and all of that when recovered monies are lying somewhere. Government should not only publish the names but expend the recovered monies on development projects.”
Adeniran reiterating the position of CACOL on penitent and recalcitrant corruption criminals said “we have always insisted on punishing culprits of corruption to serve as deterrent to other corruption criminals and the potentially corrupt persons in the country. The non-application of punitive measures against persons guilty of corruption would make the whole anti-corruption war a huge joke, a waste of time, energy and resources”.

“We acknowledge the difference between penitent corruption criminals and recalcitrant ones, it is correct to treat those who admit their guilt voluntarily and those that make the state to expend resources energy and time before their conviction is achieved differently, we agree to that extent.”

“But our position is that those that opt for plea bargain or seek Amnesty should nonetheless not be allowed to go scot-free; they should hence be
stripped of all their properties and monies as well as honours that could have been bestowed on some
of them – they should be made to start life anew. All of their material possessions should be deemed as proceeds of corruption and therefore confiscated by the state. Then they can be told to ‘go and sin no more.”

“As for the recalcitrant ones, they should of course be made toface the full constitutional and judicial consequences of their crimes. They should be put in jail according to size of their loots, even up to life imprisonment.”
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator,
Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL
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