The newly-appointed head of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption urged those involved in corruption cases to come forward and confess to their crimes.
Professor Itse Sagay made a claim on Wednesday, August 12, when he spoke with Vanguard about the challenges the body currently faces.
The Committee chairman added that in case of honest confessions, certain lenient terms might apply. He also assured Nigerians that anti-graft fight in the country would not be selective, as alleged by some.
Sagay pointed out that the agenda of the Committee was the prerogative of the Nigerian government:
“The agenda is still being worked out, it is not my personal thing. In fact, the whole agenda belongs to the federal government.
“The committee is still meeting to work out the details of its operations and their priorities, that is when the issue of the agenda will arise. It is premature to talk about that now.”
Regarding the allegations of biased approach to anti-corruption fight:
“As for the question of selectivity, let me put it this way: any person, who has not been guilty of corruption, who has not looted the funds of Nigeria has no cause for alarm. So, all this escapist attitude of talking of selectivity and victimisation cannot arise, you cannot victimise an innocent man.
“And anyone who knows that his hands are dirty, should come out and confess. I am sure, certain lenient terms can be obtained by him, but let them not hide under the cloak of selectivity ignoring that their hands are deep red with guilt.
“For me, there is no selectivity, it is plain and straight forward. Those who have looted the country’s funds are going to be requested to return them and in fact, prosecuted if necessary. It has nothing to do with selectivity.”
Speaking about his appointment as the Comittee boss, Sagay expressed his joy over having been given a chance to address the major challenge of the country.
“I see it as an honour because this (corruption) is a major problem for the country, if we are going to develop, if we are going to eliminate poverty, misery and joblessness. These ills we are facing arise out of depletion of our resources by very focused anti social elements, who have sucked us dry.
“If we resolve it (corruption), we have resolved a major problem holding this country back. It is an honour and all of us in the committee are glad to put hands together with this government to try and solve that problem for the liberty of Nigeria.”
It should be recalled that the announcement of Itse Sagay, a professor of law civil rights activist, as the body chairman, came earlier this week. The Committee, consisting of prominent law experts, is set to advise President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration on anti-graft war and implementation of reform in the criminal justice system.