Before I started writing this, I had to decide if this would turn out to be disrespectful. This is in view of the fact that I was about to write pertinent to a Professor of Law and a Senior Advocate. Well, you are reading this, so you know what my decision was.
What was the purpose of creating the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC)? I want to believe the purpose of this creation, is to advise the Federal Government and its agencies on effective ways to fight corruption most especially where it comes to the judicial process of punishing a corrupt person. It’s basically meant to advice and therefore should have the ears of those it is to advice. PACAC is expected to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in pursuing its goals. I do hope that does capture what the intention of creating this PACAC is, if not…
Now, PACAC is been chaired by a highly respected Legal practitioner, a professor of law and a senior advocate of Nigeria. He has written law books, which had helped thousands of law students in pursuit of their dreams. Many law lecturers had formed a lesson note from this man’s text. He is the learned Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN)! He is one person who always comes across to me as the person to trust when it comes to what the law is and why not, he has written so much that had helped shaped the legal sphere. He reminds me of Professor Anifalaje, a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan. Upon the appointment of Prof. I. Sagay as the chairman of PACAC, my thoughts were that we would see positive change in the prosecution of corrupt practices. Has this been the case though? Capital NO!
The PACAC and its chairman (other members are Hadiza Bala Usman, Prof. Sadiq Isah Radda, Prof. Femi Odekunle, Prof. Etannibi Alemika and Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye) have simply become a barking toothless bull dog, with the aura to instill fear but has no relevance. It is doubtful if PACAC actually has the ears of the President it is supposed to be advising! This is evidence in the divergence of views of the PACAC chairman and the Attorney General of the Federation. The PACAC chairman is now mere observer and political commentator. I do not see any reason why this setup remains and to what advantageous purpose does it serve to Nigeria. The APC have on few occasions expressed their displeasure with the PACAC chairman and few times the Attorney General of the Federation has disagreed with him.
Now, I might not be 100% correct, therefore I am open to a superior argument. I believe Prof. Sagay needs to go and park PACAC bus permanently and find a far reaching role to play in Nigeria today.