PAACA trains religious, traditional rulers on using FOIA to fight corruption

PAACA trains religious, traditional rulers on using FOIA to fight corruption

- Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) recently trained traditional and religious leaders

- The training was done on how to use the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to fight corruption at the grassroots

- The training took place on Thursday, February 27 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

The Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) on Thursday, February 27 trained traditional and religious leaders

PAACA Executive Director, Ezenwa Nwagwu said the two-day workshop was organized for Network of Religious and Traditional Leaders against Corruption (NRETLAC) on the use of the Freedom of Information, FOI Act to promote institutional transparency and accountability.

Nwagwu stated that the workshop targets traditional leaders because they are influential in communities and therefore, can easily identify corrupt practices.

"Poverty is consequential to corruption, so what we have done is to identify moral authorities in communities that can help to reorient the people to own the anti-corruption fight and we identified the traditional and religious leaders.

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PAAC trains religious, traditional rulers on using FOIA to fight corruption

PAACA Executive Director, Ezenwa Nwagwu (l) and Umoh Mfon Sunday, ICPC (r)
Source: Original

"FOI is a peoples law and the people and their custodian must own this act and begin to use it in the fight against corruption.

"Today we have abandoned projects all over the country,it is the responsibility of the traditional ruler to begin to ask questions about projects and be alert to that responsibility so as to curb wastage,’’ he said.

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PAAC trains religious, traditional rulers on using FOIA to fight corruption

A cross section of the religious and traditional rulers at the training. Photo credit: Caroline Yaakugh
Source: Original

The assistant chief investigator of Independent Corrupt Practices Corruption, ICPC, Mfon Umoh represented the ICPC chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye at the event.

In his speech, he stated that the free flow of information is the lubricant for accountability and transparency in government.

He called on the religious and traditional leaders, the media, the civil society groups and the academic should be at the forefront of utilizing FOIA

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His words: "FOIA is a unique law in that it is a weapon in the hands of the people to demand transparency and accountability from government agencies."

The executive director of Media Rights Agenda, Mr Edetaen Ojo, delivered a lecture on understanding the importance of FOI act and how to use it to fight against corruption.

He urged people to always ask questions and to continuously seek answers as it involved projects in their communities.

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Meanwhile, Rivers state governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that Nigeria is sliding because judges are afraid to function in line with their oath of office.

Wike made the statement while receiving a delegation from the National Association of Women Judges, south-south chapter on Tuesday, February 25.

He said: “The problem with Nigeria today is because people are afraid to say the truth. Judges are afraid. They don’t want to be identified. That is why the country is sliding down.”

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