The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, CSNAC, has demanded an immediate investigation into the claims that operatives of the State Security Service, SSS, were offered N14 million during the just concluded Osun gubernatorial election.
The group, a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organizations, said that the act is an offence punishable under the corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
In a petition dated August 18, 2014, and addressed to the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, the group demanded that the SSS Spokesperson be invited for questioning.
Marilyn Ogar, the SSS Spokesperson, had, last week, accused an unnamed political party of attempting to bribe two of the agency’s operatives with N14 million to help them subvert the electoral process.
The SSS Spokesperson had also angered civil society activists after she blamed the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the spate of bombings across Nigeria.
“Last week Thursday, 14th August 2014, marks a turning point in the operation, perception and integrity of Nigeria’s security agencies, with the highly controversial assertions of the loquacious Director of the State Security Service,” the anti-corruption group stated in the petition signed by Olanrewaju Suraju, its Chairman.
“In the condemnable practice of conducting intelligence operations in the public space, the SSS Director has severally exposed the agency to public opprobrium with her gaffe and politicization of serious security issues in the country. This obviously, is antithetical to the primary responsibilities of the agency.
“At a media presentation, convened to review the role of security personnels in the just concluded August 9 gubernatorial election in Osun State, Ms. Ogar ignominiously descended into the political arena with jab of several allegations against the opposition party, an act reminiscence of the country’s unethical political parties tantrum throwing,” Mr. Suraju added.
In their petition, CSNAC stated that Section 9 of the ICPC Act stipulates a seven year imprisonment for any person found guilty of bribing or attempting to bribe a public officer.
“According to Section 9 of the Act; Any person who corruptly – (a) gives, confers or procure any property or benefit of any kind to, on or for a public officer or to, on or for any other person; or (b) promises or offer to give, confers, procures or attempts to procure any property or benefit of any kind to, on or for a public officer or any other person, on account of any such act, omission, favour or disfavor to be done or shown by the public officer is guilty of an Offence of official corruption and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for seven (7) years,” the petition read.
“In the light of the above provisions in Section 9(a) and (b) above, a prima facie case of offer and inducement attempt can be established.
It is therefore the demand of this organisation that your commission, as a matter urgency, invite Ms. Marilyn Ogar for necessary interrogation, to identify the personalities behind the self-confessed bribe offer.
“Under the Act in reference, failure to report this case to an officer of the Commission or Police Offer is already an Offence; Section 23 (1) any public offer to whom any gratification is given, promised or offered in contravention of any provision of this Act, shall report such gift, promise or offer, together with the name, if known, of the person who gave, promised or offered such gratification to him to the nearest officer of the Commission or a Police Officer. (3) Any person who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (1) and (2) shall be guilty of an Offence and on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand Naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2) years or to both fine and imprisonment,”
the petition added.