The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, on Tuesday in Abuja blamed the high rate of corruption in Africa on lack of accountability, transparency and weak government structures.
He however called on the key actors in the judiciary sector in Africa to beam their searchlight on the allegations of corruption against members.
The CJN, who was represented by a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Clentus Nweze, stated this at the annual conference of the Pan Africa Lawyers Union with the theme, “Combating corruption: The role of the legal profession in Africa.”
He said, “Great attention should be placed on the African Union Convention on preventing and combating corruption which was adopted on July 11, 2003. The Convention, as it is well known, represents regional census on what African countries should do in the area of prevention, criminalisation, international collaboration and asset recovery.
“Corruption is characterised by the absence of culture of accountability, inefficiency, weak government structure, excessive concentration of power in the executive arm of government and lack of transparency.”
Mahmud added that these had resulted in the shameless acts of stealing public funds and waste or mismanagement of natural resources.
The President of PALU, Mr. Elijah Banda, said the theme of the conference was designed consciously and the venue chosen deliberately in recognition of the effort of President Muhammadu Buhari in combating corruption.
He said, “Our question will not only be what can our government do or what can AU do in the fight against corruption, and the illicit financial flow from Africa, but also our question will be what will the legal profession in Africa do to contribute to the fight in meaningful and tangible ways.”