22nd December, 2010
By Ubong George/Makurdi
Just as elected council chairmen in Benue State take their exit after the completion of their tenure, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other RelatedÂ Offences Commission (ICPC), has vowed not to spare any local government council in the country found to be involved in corruption, warning that any chairmanÂ caught will be apprehended.
The Benue State Zonal coordinator of ICPC, Prince Hassan Mohammed, revealed this at a one-day seminar put together by the commission in conjunction with theÂ Plateau State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs with the theme, Repositioning Local Government for Transparency, Accountability andÂ Effective Service Delivery .
Mohammed said the commission will beam its searchlight on local government councils in the country as a way of checkingÂ corruption and misappropriation ofÂ council funds at that third tier of government across the country.
The zonal coordinator said the ICPC owed a great responsibility to Nigerians to ensure that corrupt elective officers and government officials were notÂ shielded from prosecution, adding, â€œthe ICPC would continue to trail those who indulge and take delight misappropriating public funds.â€
He advised Nigerians to always volunteer information to the commission to enable the ICPC apprehend and prosecute the corrupt officials in the country.
â€œThe ICPC acts on information. Nigerians should freely volunteer information to the ICPC,â€ he urged.
In a lead paper, Dr. John Enyi of the Benue State University frowned at state governmentsâ€™ undue interference in local government administration in theÂ country, observing that this has caused under development in the 774 local government councils in the nation. The university don called on the NationalÂ Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, make legislation that would grant the councils financial autonomy from state government which, according to him, wouldÂ stimulate greater developments at the third tier of government in the country.