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Group urges lawyers to embrace whistle blower policy to fight corruption



Group urges lawyers to embrace whistle blower policy to fight corruption

The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), has urged lawyers to embrace the whistle blower policy to enhance the fight against corruption.

The Coordinator of the Centre, Mr Chido Onumah, made the call in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

He opined that the involvement of lawyers in anti-corruption fight was of great importance as far as protection for whistle blowers was concerned.

Onumah said this necessitated AFRICMIL to organise a workshop for lawyers on whistle blowing and whistleblower protection.

“The workshop was designed to educate lawyers on the rudiments of the whistle blower policy, while identifying critical stakeholders in the promotion of the policy within the legal profession.

“AFRICMIL launched an anti-corruption project tagged Corruption Anonymous, which is supported by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation.

“The project seeks to sensitise Nigerians and garner support for the whistle blower policy of the Federal Government as a tool for fighting corruption,’’ he said.

Onumah recalled that the whistle blowing policy was introduced in 2016, to check corruption in the public sector of the nation’s economy.

He said the workshop focused on how to protect whistle blowers, methods and strategies for legal defence, as well as procedures to secure protection for whistle blowers.

Onumah noted that the ultimate goal of the workshop was to facilitate and create a network of lawyers on whistle blowers’ protection.

Mr Dayo Olaide, the Deputy Director, Africa Office of MacArthur Foundation, urged Nigerians to do their best by exposing corruption, while advising lawyers to demonstrate the zeal and honesty to support the crusade.

He said there was an urgent need to tackle corruption, as “somebody somewhere is paying for money stolen by corrupt individuals.”

Olaide cited a recent report which revealed that Nigeria was losing 10 per cent of her Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to corruption, stressing that this showed the pervasiveness of corruption in the country.

He expressed fear that if nothing was done by 2030, Nigeria would be losing 30 per cent of its GDP to corruption.

The lead facilitator at the workshop, Abdul Mahmud, appealed to lawyers to be active in the fight against corruption.

He tasked them to do research on how to make the whistleblower policy work, so as to help reduce corruption in the society.

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