The Provost/Medical Director, Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Dr.Paul Agboola has said the partnership between the anti-graft agency, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, and the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Units in Ministries, Departments and Agencies will curb corruption therein.
He said this on Tuesday in an interview with NOTM online shortly after the re-inauguration of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit in the hospital by Barrister Lucky Erewa, Resident Anti-Corruption Commissioner of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Oyo/Ogun chapter.
Dr. Agboola who said corruption crept into Nigerian governance during the military era noted that some politicians of the Second Republic like the late first Lagos State civilian Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande among others, ruled with transparency and accountability.
He said, “During the Second Republic, there was accountability and students got textbooks, notebooks and mathematical sets.
“They had these each academic session. But suddenly the military struck. Not until 1999 that democracy was restored that we had the ICPC and the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Units set up in MDAs.”
The NPH, Aro, Abeokuta who described ACTUnas an arm of ICPC, explained that the ACTU in each MDA could carry out Independent investigations on projects by asking relevant questions at the accounts, procurement and audit units of such MDA.
Using the NPH, Aro, Abeokuta as an example, Dr. Agboola said since he has nothing to hide, the re-inaugurated ACTU in the hospital “is free to ask questions concerning any projects within the premises at any time.”
He stated that the ACTU would act as “check and balance” and “they are to go to different units of the hospital, look to see how transparent are they. “They are free to go to the procurement unit, account department, and audit department of the hospital and also ask questions.”
On his part, Barrister Lucky Erewa, Resident Anti-Corruption Commissioner of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Oyo/Ogun chapter, said over the years the ACTUs in different MDAs have been reliable stakeholders in checking corrupt practices.
He explained that the ACTUs have same purpose and intent with the ICPC in curbing corruption in the public service.
He said, “What we do in ICPC is to bring down corruption to its barest minimum and we need partnera to achieve this and these are partners in public institutions.
“When there are allegations of corruption, they can set up their own little panel, make little findings, ICPC will take it up from there.”
He was happy with the excitement demonstrated by the ACTU executives of the NPH, Aro, Abeokuta, at their inauguration.
Oath of Office was later administered on Mrs. Yetunde Coker, the chairman of ACTU, Aro, Abeokuta and other committee members of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit in the hospital.
The Provost and Medical Director of the hospital was also decorated at the event as the grand patron of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency. Other top management Committee members in the hospital were also decorated as patrons of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency in the hospital.
Later in his presentation, ICPC desk officer at NPH, Aro, Abeokuta, Mr Oscar Ndukwe said the ICPC was established on 13th June 2000 and inaugurated on 29th September 2003 by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He reiterated that majorly among it’s duties “is to receive and investigate reports of the attempts to commit or the actual commission and prosecute the offenders. If found guilty they will be jailed.”
He added that it equally has preventive mandate and also engage in public education and mobilisation to educate the public on/against bribery, corruption and related offences, and enlist and Foster public support in combating corruption.
On those who qualified to members of ACTU, Eegunjobi explained that they are top management staff which are to be spread over relevant departments and units within the organization including finance and account, procurement and audit.