Presidential panel accuses NDDC, Customs of corruption

Itse Sagay, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) Itse Sagay, on Thursday in Abuja accused the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of being reckless with funds meant for development.

Mr. Sagay said the commission recently bought 70 cars, including eight Super Lexus Jeeps at N78 million each and 10 Landcruisers each costing N63 million.

He said the vehicles were acquired with funds meant for the provision of water, housing, hospital, schools and infrastructure development in the Niger Delta region.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Sagay spoke at the opening of a two-day national dialogue on corruption organised by PACAC in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President.

“The cars were bought with money from funds meant for infrastructure, water, housing, hospital, schools, without conscience and without a thought for the wretched people of the Niger Delta.

“These huge sums were plundered from their allocations and yet the Managing Director was ironically complaining as reported by the Nation newspaper of Feb. 6, 2017 that the NDDC lacks funds to execute projects.

“The managing director also said that NDDC was in debt up to the tune of N1.2 trillion. What an irony.

“The recklessness with which public officers spend public funds is insensitive to the point of insanity. The level of insensitivity has become pathological.’’

Mr. Sagay also took a swipe at the Nigeria Customs Service, saying nothing had changed since the current administration came on board in May 2015.

Mr. Sagay cited an instance with the Tin Can Island in Lagos, where he said customs officials now charge fees to physically examine goods following the breakdown of the scanner.

Describing it as brazen corruption, he said there were many other instances which PACAC brought to the attention of the Comptroller General during a recent visit to him.

Mr. Sagay decried public apathy to issues of corruption in the country, noting that the people’s attitude to corruption had become hardened, and that there was no longer any fear of consequence.

“Now, we need to ask ourselves what the problem really is. We are definitely overwhelmed by the epidemic of kleptomania. But do we also have a collective psychiatric problem?

“Why should a person loot what he cannot spend in 10 lifetimes, thereby exposing the rest of the population to misery, hunger, poverty and wretchedness?” he asked.

Mr. Sagay also reflected on judicial corruption, saying some judges still grant adjournments running into months in contravention of provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

He accused lawyers of contributing to the problem by using different delay tactics thereby causing the nation great embarrassment.

He said he had suggested to PACAC on the need to recruit a group of young lawyers to monitor court sittings and note issues of adjournments.

According to him, the reports sent by the monitors will be compiled and sent to the National Judicial Council for appropriate action.

Mr. Sagay faulted the recent public demonstrations against the present administration, saying they were sponsored by those who lost elections and those whose appointments were not renewed.(NAN)


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  • Rommel

    This means that the PDP controlled Judiciary is at the center of corruption in Nigeria and at this current rate,unless extra judicial methods are applied since judicial mechanisms are now the problem,all efforts to fight corruption would be an exercise in futility.

    • Gary

      It is now PDP-controlled with Abubakar Malami as AGF? You guys are mad that Walter Onnoghen is now confirmed as CJN. I wonder why..is it because he comes from the “wrong” part of the country and the calculated delay of sending his name to the Senate failed to find anything incriminating to scuttle his confirmation?
      Who served as CJN in the many years of PDP rule and why were they unable to stop corruption in the judiciary?
      E-rats, over to you. Please tell us your grouse with having Onnoghen as CJN.

      • Adeyi

        Ehen, they have started again. wrong part of the country…failed to find anything incriminating. The president can choose or not to forward his name for confirmation! What’s your point exactly???

    • Adeyi

      there are enough judicial ways to tackle the corrupt guys. I am only hoping there is enough political will. shikena!!!

  • Haba mallam

    Why is this man not the minister of justice? Buhari need to shake things up and bring old hand with guts like prof Sagay as justice minister and prof Bolaji Akinyemi as foreign affairs minister things will change for sure.

  • Arabakpura

    I am particularly disappointed with Hameed Ali! Some of us rejoiced when he was appointed not knowing that he has been reformed towards corruption! My advice to young Nigerians is to get violent with the older Nigerians who appear not to bother about their future! I mean this in absolute terms!

    • Adeyi

      No violence please. But why are the scanners at the ports not functioning? Over to you, Oga Hameed! Perhaps someone just pulled the plugs….or the plug fuse don baje. If not, then we need Humansecticide to do the job. Those guys are acCUSTOMed to such acts.

  • thusspokez

    Mr. Sagay said the commission recently bought 70 cars, including eight Super Lexus Jeeps at N78 million each and 10 Landcruisers each costing N63 million.

    Nigerians have the sort of relationship to public fund that the money has to banana.

    Using the money analogy, if as a banana trader, you must employ monkeys as labourers in your banana warehouses, you must first address the risk of banana theft and means of preventing it.

    Addressing corruption and building anti-corruption measures into the disbursement of funds is something Nigerian governments never ever do despite knowing the inevitable outcome. And yet, they expect different outcomes and complain when the inevitable outcome, namely, corruption occurs.

  • absam777

    Nothing would change in Nigeria. The Corrupt class have got their wish, the CJ who will ever be grateful to them. The whole system is corrupt from the presidency to the docile and corruption supporting citizen

    • Adeyi

      Mr CJN is not above the law. He can also be visited at midnight by the security boys. It is up to him to act accordingly (to what?) to wade off any such unwanted guests.

      • absam777

        I agree with you but these corrupt class would never change. It is in their DNA. Have you heard about Saraki ,the governors and the Paris Funds?

        • Adeyi

          Surprisingly not. But we are making steady progress. It will be an implosion. Battle of the Elite, By the Elite, and for the Elite. We will be mere spectators and overall beneficiary

  • Gerald Okoduwa

    Senators who have cases in courts were dancing with their newly confirmed CJN in the senate yesterday. This alone speaks volumes. The CJN was concerned about independence instead of the corruption in the judiciary. He frowned at disobedience to court orders but not on fraudulent court orders and purchased judgments. Saboteurs who used ethnic and seniority emotions to enthrone this CJN have suddenly gone off public space to plot their next sabotage. The chicken will soon come home to roost.

    • Sanssouci

      If you remember a few weeks back during this CJN confirmation wahala, Sagay made not so subtle hints as to Onnoghen’s cleanliness. From the way I heard Saraki praise Onnoghen yesterday I knew we still have a very long way to go in the judiciary and actually felt sorry for Buhari

  • Edwin

    Prof.Sagay just stated a known and obvious issue which he was recruited and paid to change but has so far misinformed the public due to his selfish interest.What relevant is his committee if he can only point fingers without redressing it?No govt agencies as constituted today is free from corruption.

    • Alpha

      Prof Sagay heads a committee to ‘detect’ and ‘suggest’ solutions, which he is doing, he has no powers to prevent nor enforce any laws beyond suggestions. Blanket blaming game is the bane of the average Nigerian.

    • Akiika

      Really? this is a comment on the above story? Good lord! Nigeria is truly finished if victims like you doesn’t even know they are the one suffering from the blind stealing of your common resources. The committee’s job is to investigate perceived corruption and report it, they are not law enforcement. How does the fact that all Gov’t agency are corrupt justify the corruption revelation of the NDDC? Does it this bother you that some greedy folks have denied you the basic amenities of life? You guys need to reason rationally and challenge these looting politicians instead of blaming everyone that doesn’t come from your village.

    • Adeyi

      Still waiting for you Edwin to further explain yourself otherwise you are as guilty as charged!

      • Edwin

        Why don’t you state what impact or reform Prof Sagay committee has made in cause of anti corruption fight since inauguration rather than beat about the bush. Just a waste of tax payers money.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Quite very unfortunate,Niger Delta and mostly, South-South-people either in their states within South-South or in Federal Government,s positions are always found corrupt.Looting,stealing and embezzlement are their passion and they believe there is nothing wrong in corruption crimes against the state.Niger Deltans, require to be re-orientated and cleanse of corruption culture.

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  • Jason

    Fighting corruption requires more than proclamation. It requires competence in governance delivery which is a scarce commodity in this government.

    • Sanssouci

      You hit the nail on the head. On this issue of customs I’ve repeated countlessly, that if a corrupt Dikko who has admitted to 50M$ worth of properties in Dubai, has refunded 1Billion NGN and still has warehouses where they r still carting away stuff daily from, still managed to consistently generate more revenue than this “clean” Col Ali, then the problem of competence is greater than corruption. But is seems I was even just partially right since corruption is still apparently in full swing in customs. Competence is the greatest hindrance to service delivery and like u painfully pointed out that is a scarce commodity in this government.

  • sammyctu ode

    Maybe it’s time for the FG to start looking beyond appointing indigenes of ND to run NDDC cos Nigerians can’t understand that they are owing N1. 2 trillion despite the huge allocations they get on a yearly basis. It’s time for the militants, youths and the women of ND to start taking their own destiny into their hands by challenging their useless political and traditional leaders who are the ones cornering all these billions of contracts and abandoning the project’s. The pdp who have been winning elections in ND since 1999 have not only cowed the people but have litirarilly turned their people into slaves and as long as they continue to win elections the ND people will continue to wallow in abject poverty. It’s up to the ND youths to start the revolution in ND. As for customs sack all custom officers and bring new people in then administer polygraph test for them on a monthly basis. If dikko can return over one billion naira hid choice vehicles and build mansions all over one can imagine what all other officers are doing to the Nigerian economy. All custom officers are wild animals who have no atom of commitment to the Nigerian state.

  • Haba mallam

    While NDDC is busy looting the money of their people, the people are busy busting our pipelines. What kind of humans are these?.creek monkeys.?

    • Jason

      The have been dehumanised by atrocious leadership at all levels: what do you expect? The rest of the country is not different anyway as every region now has social crises.