Tuesday, 26 June 2012

News Release: End Impunity Now; Implement The Fuel Subsidy Fraud Probe Report

Rev. David Ugolor
[Being Text Of A World News Conference Addressed By Citizens’ Organizations Promoting The End Impunity Now Campaign In Nigeria On The Current Unsustainable And Unacceptable Scale And Scope Of Systemic Corruption In The Country]

‘End Impunity Now’ is a campaign movement initiated, launched and endorsed by a growing number of patriotic Nigerian citizens’ organizations, appalled the grandiose scale that systemic corruption has assumed in the country; alarmed at the increasingly detrimental and devastating impact of this unchecked systemic corruption on the conditions of existence of citizens, as well as on the state of the national economy; and convinced that the share scale and scope, as well as the catastrophic impact of this endemic systemic corruption is no longer sustainable, and is therefore categorically unacceptable.

We are worried and disturbed by the rot in the system, which continues to allow criminal acts to go unpunished, the brazen looting of the treasury to go on unabated, while the constitution of the Federal Republic is routinely blatantly violated and breached without consequence.

We are worried and concerned enough as patriotic citizens of our Country to reach the conclusion that something drastic, immediate, and far reaching must be urgently done to end all forms of impunity in the governance of our country, and begin the process of salvaging Nigeria.

We declare without fear or favour that Impunity Ends Now; We insist that because of the endemic nature and systemic character of corruption in the country, that this process of ending impunity begins immediately with the tackling of corruption.

In a situation such as the one our nation has been dragged to by its ruling elites, where the scale and scope of corruption in just one subsector of the economy alone - the management of the fuel subsidy regime, is such that more than 1.7 trillion Naira, that is about 40% of the 2011 Federal Budget, has been lost to fraud and other corrupt practices; it becomes very clear that corruption has become the single most significant impediment to the guarantee of citizens’ welfare, the development of the national economy, and the achievement of national security. It is why basic services and infrastructure cannot be provided, why the cost of living is daily rising, why we cannot generate the power required to drive the economy, why we are being asked to pay more for declining services, why the argument will always be made for further increases in Fuel prices, why acts of armed banditry have been proliferating, and why insurgencies and insurrections are mounting all over the country.

Corruption must be identified, investigated, prosecuted and punished. The price to be paid for corruption must be so costly that it acts as a deterrent to new corruption.

In this regard The End Impunity Now Campaign endorses, full supports and solidarises with the initiative of the Diaspora initiative of the Nigeria Global Awakening Against Corruption in observing June 23rd 2012 as a Global Day Of Action Against Corruption In Nigeria.

Demands And Proposed Action:
1.   Immediate Implementation Of The HoR Report On The Fuel Subsidy Fraud: We insist that inspite of the recent developments with respect to allegations of bribery concerning certain members of the Ad-Hoc committee that conducted the investigation and probe of the Fuel Subsidy report, nothing that has been revealed invalidates the core essence of the findings and recommendations of that probe. We declare that we shall mobilise Nigerian Citizens’ to massively resist any attempt to discard the report, water down its recommendations or to delay its implementation.
     The Bribery Allegations Against Two Members Of The AD-HOC Committee: We are of the opinion, and thus insist that two separate issues are involved here, and both issues should be addressed separately on their own merits, and on the basis of the same principles and standards. There is on the one hand the gargantuan looting of the treasury revealed in the probe report; and there is also on the other hand, the revelations concerning allegations of soliciting for and receiving bribe by the chair and secretary of the Ad-Hoc Committee probing the fraud. We are of the opinion that the relevant agencies, including the SSS, the Police and the EFFC should immediately ensure a thorough and prompt investigation of these allegations and the prosecution and punishment of any indicted culprits.
      In the light of the foregoing, we call on the Senate to as a matter of urgency conclude their own investigation into the corruption in the petroleum sector, and release their report.
      The Growing State Of Insecurity: We are convinced that the sheer scale and scope of the frauds and other acts of corruption and the gang-raping of the treasury by both elected and appointed officials of state is directly implicated in the increasing poverty and uncertainty that drives the very poor into increasingly violent crimes and into the hands of ethnic and religious conflict entrepreneurs who use the poor to wage their selfish insurgencies and insurrections against the state and the citizens. We therefore insist that a government that is incapable of delivering on development, basic services, and infrastructures; a government whose acts continues to impoverish its citizens because of its unwillingness and inability to tackle and deal with corruption, will be unable to guarantee neither the security of the citizens nor the security of the state.
     Incessant Increases In Electricity Tariffs: The inability of the regimes since 1999 to increase power generation and distribution capacity, inspite of the more than $20 billion [$17bn prior to the Elumelu Committee probe of the sector, and some $3bn since then] that has been invested to achieve the aim of doubling generation and distribution capacity, is another clear testimony to the unacceptable, unsustainably crippling nature of systemic corruption and its deleterious impact of the conditions of citizens and the economy. Inspite of the declining services that we have witnessed with respect to electricity availability for use, and despite the huge amounts in looted investments, the current regime has again asked Nigerians to pay significantly more for a service that is in steep decline, unavailable and inaccessible, without tackling the corruption that is at the root of the non performance of the sector. We state categorically that Nigerians reject this recent increase in tariffs as further imposition of unbearable burden on the citizens, and calls for the immediate reversal to the tariffs before the June 1st increases.

What We Shall Do; Nigerians Arise:      
In the light of the forgoing, giving the concerns that we have observed, and against the background of our Demands, the End Impunity Now Campaign commits itself to immediate and continued mobilization of Nigerians for acts of Mass Protests, Occupying every inch of our country until we end impunity.
To this end, the End Impunity Now Campaign calls for and will organize a National Day Of Action Against Corruption on Thursday 28th June 2012. We shall March on NNPC and the Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, and OCCUPY the EFFC, until we receive a concrete affirmation that our demands shall be met.

We call on all Nigerians concerned by the state of our nation, and aggrieved by the scale of corruption and its impact on our lives to come out enmasse on this day all over Nigeria, to begin the first in a series of steps aimed at taking back our country.


Rev. David Ugolor                                                                Jaiye Gaskia
Exec. Dir. ANEEJ                                                                 National Convener UAD
EIN Campaign Secretariat                                                   EIN Spokesperson

Otive Igbuzor
African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), Abuja
Muhammed Attah
Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative
Dr. Tola Winjobi
CAFSO-WRAG for Development, Ibadan
Adebiyi Olusolape
Ugheughe Uyoyoghene
Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abuja
Comrade Nnana Nelson Nwafor
Foundation for Environmental Right, Advocacy and Development in Nigeria (FENRAD-NIG)
Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface
Social Development Integrated Centre, Port Harcourt
Victor Eloke
Eze Onyekpere
Tessa Anota
Edem Edem
Green Code
Green Concern for Development
Andy Ogbuigwe
Accord for Community Development, Port Harcourt
Samuel Ishaya
Mary Igharo
Ngozi Izuora
Centre LSD
Michael Ani
Ezekiel Jamaka
Barr. A. O. Ewere
University of Benin
Dr. Dayo Ayoade
Faculty of Law, University of Lagos
Ikechukwu Okoli
Dr. Nicholas Baamlong
Nigeria Medical Association
Yinka Lawal
Peter Ritchie
Dikko Osman
Ebele Collins N.
Centre LSD
Anicetus Atakpu
Isa Aremu
Vice President, NLC
Mr. Jaye Gaskia
United Action for Democracy (UAD)
Rev David Ugolor
Africa Network Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Benin City
Lukman Adefolahan
Yaya Kolawole
Victoria Ose Udoh
Centre for Democracy Development
Comrade Nuhu Toro
Aliyu Musa
Leo Atakpu
Development Outreach

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