A coalition of non-governmental organizations under the name, End Impunity Now (EIN) Campaign, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute the ousted Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Austen Oniwon, and three members of his executive board.
The group, which organised a protest rally in front of the NNPC headquarters in Abuja last week, pointed out that given the levels of corruption that had been exposed by the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee report on the fuel subsidy management, it was not good enough to dismiss one or two persons and sweep the rest under the carpet.
The Spokesman of the campaign, Mr. Jaye Gaskiya, in a statement, said that while it welcomed the action by President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the formers NNPC directors, the action already taken was inadequate, insisting that more concrete steps need to be taken to demonstrate not only the commitment of the regime to fight corruption, but also the irreversibility of that commitment.
Gaskiya said: The End Impunity Now Campaign, endorsed by a growing number of citizens’ organisations and individual conscientious Nigerian citizens, wishes to express its appreciation to Nigerians resident in the Federal Capital Territory in particular, and across the length and breadth of the country in general, for the massive show of support and solidarity for our collective cause to end the impunity that allows and enables public officials to loot the treasury without let, hindrance or remorse.
“We are particularly grateful and appreciative of the depth of solidarity of ordinary Nigerians, who like us are wary of the scale and scope of corruption, and worried by the devastating impact of corruption on our collective well-being, national development, growth of the national economy, and state of citizen and national security.
“Our protest today which resonates with the demands and aspirations of the overwhelming majority of Nigerians, in demanding that serious, concrete and decisive steps be taken to identify, arrest, dismiss, prosecute and punish perpetuators and perpetrators of corruption; was met with the full force of the state, which deployed several hundred fully armed police, twp surveillance helicopters, as well as many plain cloth state security service agents to intimidate and disperse the rally.
“We condemn this futile provocative attempt to deny Nigerians their constitutional right to peacefully assemble and to freedom of expression. We are appalled at the intention in a supposed democracy to disperse with armed forces, the peaceful assembly of citizens requesting that their government which claims to be fighting corruption, actually wages this battle with all sense of urgency, responsibility and determination.
“We serve notice, that is the first steps of a new movement aimed at bringing citizens into the center of the struggle to rid this nation of corruption and the corrupt who are holding back our progress, and whose unconscionable acts is causing the impoverishment, untimely deaths, and injury to several millions of Nigerians.
“We bear witness to the world today that we shall not be intimidated, we shall not relent, we shall continue to mobilise active mass protests and occupy every space fouled by corruption, until we rid our country of this systemic malaise of fraud, treasury looting, and the impunity that allows this fester.
“Because of the systemic and pervasive nature of corruption, we know that ending this impunity will require drastic measures in systemic overhaul; we are thus aware that our collective effort will require a long and drawn out battle. But in the end we are determined to Take Back Our Country from the treasury looters to salvage Nigeria.
“In the light of the foregoing, we reiterate our demands implement the House of Representative report on fuel subsidy fraud; sack the board and management of NNPC, PPMC, PPPRA and DPR; arrest prosecute and punish all implicated officials and persons, recover all looted funds; and implement comprehensive reform and restructuring of the petroleum sector, among others,” he stressed.