A coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Rivers State known as Rivers Anti-Corruption Network (ACoNet) has called on ant-graft agencies such as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practice and other related offences Commission(ICPC) to revisit what it described as absurd perpetual injunction placed against the investigation of Rivers State Government officials in order to enable tracking of their activities while in office.
ACoNet made the assertion Today 6th December 2019 in Port Harcourt capital of Rivers State in a press briefing to mark the 2019 International Anti-Corruption day which will hold on 9th December 2019.
In a press statement jointly signed by Sebastian Kpalap(Citizens Voice Initiataive),Kelechi Uzoma(Gender and Development Action),Arochukwu Ogbonna(Civil Rights Council),Henry Eferegbo (Patners For Peace),Mercy Christopher(Relief International Africa) and read by Ambassador Green Isaac ,a Project Officer with the Social Development Integrated Centre(also known as Social action) demanded that EFCC and ICPC should demonstrate how transparent and accountable they are in carrying out their mandate by availing the group all necessary documents bothering on corrupt cases and the officials involved to enable the Network advance their anti-corruption crusade and advocacy
The group also stated that a special tribunal should be set up to adjudicate on corruption cases in order to take up petitions of reported Government officials.
AcoNet called on Rivers State Government to make the State budget available and accessible to citizens and the public as such gesture by the Government will enable tracking governance and enthrone accountability.
The Network frowned at situation where key Government institutions in the state such as office of Accountant General, Audit General and Bureau of Public Procurement declined responding to several letters written by the anti-corruption group in line with the Freedom of Information(FoI) act requesting for information on how much funds were released for projects in 2018 and other past years.
The group alleged that some of the projects contained in 2018 budget such as clearing of site for new Government approved school Borikiri, construction of landing Jetty at Abyssa in Akuku-Toru Local Government area, Renovation of staff quarters at Ignatius Ajuru University Of Education, Rehabilitation of staff quarters at Elechi Amadi Polythenic, Port Harcourt and construction of annex building to senate block at Rivers State University were not executed.
Our correspondents reports that the group which partners with anti-graft agencies in carrying out anti-corruption campaigns has being tracking state and Federal Governments contracts in twenty three local Government areas to verify the status of the project .
A Programme Officer with Social Action, Peter Mazzi on his part explained that the network is battling all forms of corruption in public and private sector but the focus at the moment is on cases of abandoned projects.
At the meantime, the group has vowed to take legal action aimed at compiling the three public institutions to provide information and documents sought from them.