The Transparency and Accountability Initiative for Development in Nigeria (TAIDN), a civil society organisation, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other anti-graft agencies in the country to ensure that civil servants who have been convicted for corrupt practices do not remain in office.
The organisation also offered to assist anti-graft agencies to take inventory of the convicted civil servants and send the list to the Head of Service of the Federation, with a view to disengage corrupt element from the system.
Co-convener of the organisation, Innocent Ataba, in a statement noted that the ongoing anti-corruption war of the federal government would be sabotaged, if persons who have been convicted for various corrupt practices remain in their office in the same capacity with which the committee the crime.
Ataba further stated that the development will discourage upright civil servants from maintaining dignity in service. He however vowed to ensure that corrupt civil servants in the country are named and shammed before the general public, so as to serve as deterrent to others.
According to him, civil servants are more corrupt than politicians, and they show politicians how to manipulate the system for personal gains.
“It is unfortunate that we turn too much attention to politicians, whereas, the civil servants are the masterminds of most corrupt practices. They assist politicians to manipulate the system, therefore, we Nigeria must fight corruption effectively, corrupt civil servants should not be overlooked,” Ataba said.
According to the statement, “While TAIDN commend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the noticeable achievements recorded so far, particularly from 2015. We wish to note with displeasure that the feat recorded in the last few years, through your laudable efforts is being eroded, owing to weak institutional memory. Our preliminary findings revealed that some persons in the Federal Civil Service, who had been duly investigated, found guilty of various offences, prosecuted and convicted by competent court of law, have been recalled to the service and most of them are back to their various position, while some have been promoted to higher positions.
“This is contrary to the provisions of relevant civil service rules and it negates the anti-corruption disposition of the current administration. We are deeply concerned that these persons, some of whom were involved in high profiled corruption cases, are capable of further corrupting a system that the federal government is striving hard to sanitise, and as such should not be allowed to remain in the civil service upon conviction.
To this end, the TAIDN has resolved to take inventory of convicted civil servants and others under investigation by the commissions, and publish same to serve as deterrent to others who are nursing the intention of milking the country dry.