Dr. Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam is the national chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), in this interview with BLACKFACE, he looks at the state of the nation as well as the performance of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration in the last 18 months. Excerpts;
How do you respond to assertion in some quarters that the National judicial Council aids corruption?
That is not apt; such assertion is uncalled for. That is an irresponsible thinking as far as I am concerned. I mean when you look at the caliber, the integrity of the people that are involved. For me, corruption is a phenomenon which is a big problem in our country, for me there is no exception to an extent the greater number of Nigerian are very corrupt and that is why the government is very worried about it.
Do you think justice is sold to the highest bidder since the officials in the system are corrupt like in the case of the judges that were recently arrested by the DSS?
We cannot just rush into such conclusion as far as I am concerned. The matter you referred to, I mean that of the corrupt judges took everybody by surprise. An adage says that you cannot separate these judges from the entire Nigerian they are part of the society, so even when we look at the issue of NJC we try to ensure compliance among the judges I wouldn’t want to believe they have the power to deal on matters relating to criminality.
What is the place of the EFCC in the case of the judges?
Well if you are conversant with the act that establishes the EFCC. Primarily it is talking about financial crimes and other related matters. I want to believe they have the power to look at such matters as may be directed by Mr President one thing people should know is that he has delegated his powers to aid some government and that is why even a civilian can arrest and hand over to appropriate authorities even the power of the security have been delegated because they cannot be everywhere to carry out this functions and therefore the constitution provision is quite obvious that power has been delegated.
What is your view about immunity for state officials?
Whatever you’ve done while covered by immunity would still come back to you some how.
How do you think corruption can be fought?
By following the rule of engagement, laws are meant to be obeyed by people when laws are made and not obeyed then the laws are said to be defective. So if you want to fight corruption its to make sure the people are compliant i.e. If you disobey the law you should be arrested and prosecuted. So some of the things happening within the judiciary is quite germane. So fighting corruption is not a difficult thing it’s just that our system has collapsed. Corruption becomes a norm and that why with the new administration fighting corruption is a necessity.
It’s all about enforcement of law. Any other ancillary thing you do is all about education, enlightenment, dangers and acts. These are things we expect the orientation ministry to do i.e to continue to educate Nigerians.
What are the possible ways of curbing economic issues which happens to be one of the reason corruption is on a high rate?
First of all, we have to understand that the GDP of a nation depends on the workforce. For example, if you come to a family of 1 and only two are working, they cannot achieve anything because the incomes of the 2 are used in feeding the other eight. Although, other than the workforce there are other things to be kept in place that would enhance productivity, human resources management, to create opportunities for jobs. If the President’s mindset is to fight corruption then we are okay with it.