On-line media practitioners and users of the social media platforms would now be on the radar of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related offences Commission, ICPC, for checks against malicious petitions and mudslinging, the Chairman of ICPC Barrister Ekpo Nta has said.
He said ICPC is worried given the fact that the social media platforms are now awashed with malicious petitions and mudslinging that are largely motivated by selfish interests.
Barrister Nta spoke with reporters in Abuja yesterday shortly after declaring opened the capacity building workshop organised by Anti-Corruption Academy for members of States Houses of Assembly from the North-Central geopolitical zone of the country.
He said the ICPC Acts empowered the body to investigate, arrest and prosecute masterminds of malicious petitions and urged law-makers in the country to take up the responsibility of whistle blowers in the fight against corruption.
His words: “ Everybody suppose to be a whistle blower under our Act, but I will like to warn at this junction that a lot of malicious petitions are also making the rounds, the people who are making these malicious petitions for their personal goods should also know that they are not protected by the law and that when we investigate and find them to be untrue and to be malicious , the ICPC Acts provide for prosecution, and we will definitely prosecute them.
“If you look at social media platforms, they are awash now with all kinds of malicious petitions and mudslinging on the people, they should know they are not protected by the law.”
He said the law-makers have critical roles to play in the fight against corruption and abuse of office, noting that the Anti-Corruption Academy had earlier organised capacity building workshops for members of the academic community from the Nation’s Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Universities.
In his remarks, the Provost of the Anti-Corruption Academy, Professor Sola Akinrinade described as unfavourable the public perception of happenings at the highest levels of government and administration in the country, saying it has become incumbent on all citizens to join in the crusade against corruption.
“Legislators have direct responsibility to ensure that other arms of government and the public service embrace the values of probity, accountability, and integrity in public sector life,” he said.
“Democracy is not about freedom to do anything you want right or wrong; it is about doing the right thing, the right way at all times,” he added.
The Speaker of the Plateau state House of Assembly, Hon Peter Agang Azi said the workshop was timely as corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of the country’s socio-political and economic development.
He assured that legislators in Plateau would key into the fight against corruption to enable the present administration implement programmes that would have direct and immediate impacts on the lives of the citizenry.