A criminal investigator cum lawyer, Ibrahim Pam says for Nigeria to deal with the issue of corruption, the country needs to put in place stronger preventative measures.
Pam, who is one among the twelve shortlisted candidates for the coveted position of Registrar at the International Criminal Court (ICC) stated this in an interview with Channels TV, monitored by TNC.
He said due process ought to be in place, as that will help to mitigate corruption.
Pam argued that if due process is followed, it will help to reduce the occurrence of corruption at the procurement level
According to him, a lot of corruption in the country takes place at the procurement level, from inflation of contracts, over-invoicing, and other negative practices that go into government expenditure.
He said the government needs to plug leakages to deal with the loss of revenues.
The criminal justice practitioner commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for their effort in tackling corruption but added that they are only a part of the solution.
“Well, let me say this, and I’ll tie this to anti-corruption work and not to politics. I think that our anti-corruption approach needs to be slightly refined,” Pam said.
“And I know that, for example, the ICPC is doing quite a bit in this area, which is that coming at anti-corruption work from a retributed justice perspective, investigating and trying corrupt people, is only one small part of the equation.
“We’ve got to strengthen our preventative capacity. What does that mean? So if you pan back to the administration between 1999 and 2007, there was a big effort to institute what they call due process. What that is targeted at, is reducing the occurrence of corruption at the procurement level, because a lot of the grand corruption comes from the inflation of contracts, over-invoicing, and all of the negative practices that go into government expenditure. That’s where you’ve got to tackle the problem. You’ve got to plug those leakages to, at the front end deal with the loss of revenues and that’s the problem.
“You see it’s not how effective the EFCC or the ICPC is. They can only achieve so much. They are only in my estimation a small part of the solution. The big solution is preserving government revenues before they are expanded.”
He urged the government to dispense justice quickly.
“Quicker dispensation of justice. Accused persons awaiting trial for years and all of that adds to the pressure. The system is unable to deal with that pressure for too long. But of course, in a developing economy that there are priorities all around. And so how do you prioritise the penal system or even the judicial system over other areas of the economy? That’s a challenge.”