The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed in Abuja on Tuesday blamed what he termed the high rate of corruption in Africa on lack of accountability, transparency and weak government structures.
The CJN therefore charged key actors in the judiciary and in the African continent to beam their searchlight on the allegations of corruption against members.
Justice Mohammed who was represented by a Supreme Court judge, Justice Clentus Nweze, at the annual conference of the Pan African Lawyers Union with the theme, Combating corruption: The role of the legal profession in Africa, maintained that “Great attention should be placed on the African Union Convention on preventing and combating corruption which was adopted on July 11, 2003. The Convention, as it is well known, represents regional census on what African countries should do in the area of prevention, criminalisation, international collaboration and asset recovery.
“Corruption is characterised by the absence of culture of accountability, inefficiency, weak government structure, excessive concentration of power in the executive arm of government and lack of transparency.”
The CJN posited that these had led to the shameless acts of stealing public funds and waste or mismanagement of natural resources.
On his part, PALU President, Elijah Banda, said “Our question will not only be what can our government do or what can AU do in the fight against corruption, and the illicit financial flow from Africa, but also our question will be what will the legal profession in Africa do to contribute to the fight in meaningful and tangible ways.”