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SERAP tasks Jonathan, Buhari, others on seven-point anti-graft pact

THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked all presidential candidates to commit themselves to implementing a seven-point anti-corruption and human rights programme.

The civil society group made the request in an open letter to the parties signed by its Executive Director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni.

A copy of the letter was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

It said that such a commitment would help to end corruption.

It said: “We urge you to clearly and unequivocally commit to concrete human rights reforms to end the increasing level of corruption and the impunity of perpetrators.

“Evasive commitments by politicians undermine transparency and accountability of elected public officials and contribute to bad governance.

“By making a clear and unequivocal commitment to implement the proposed seven-point programme, Nigerians will be able to make an informed and unbiased decision to vote for issues and not personalities.

“They will also be able to compare what you are promising to do and what you actually do while in the office.”

The group said that the candidates must realise that massive high-level corruption had caused millions of Nigerians to suffer.

According to SERAP, as part of the seven-point programme, the successful presidential candidate must publicly declare his assets.

It also demanded that he or she should ensure recovery of all stolen public funds since the return of democracy in 1999 and should spend the funds on projects that would ensure respect for basic socio-economic rights of all Nigerians.

The group further requested said that the successful presidential candidate must avoid wasteful expenses and improve the conditions of Nigerians living in poverty.

SERAP said: “We ask you to commit to ensuring that, within six months in office, the allegation of corruption in spending on military equipment will be fully investigated and suspected perpetrators brought to justice.

“We ask you to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to resolve all outstanding cases of high level official corruption within six months in office.

“We ask you to tell Nigerians that, within your first 100 days in government, you will lead the process to domesticate and effectively implement the UN Convention against corruption within the legal system.”

It requested that anti-corruption agencies should be adequately funded and allowed to carry out their duties without political interference.

The group said: “We ask you to commit to ensuring, within one year of your government, the inclusion of legally enforceable economic, social and cultural rights in the Nigerian Constitution.

“We ask you to publicly commit to the full and effective implementation of court judgments, in particular the ECOWAS Court right to free education judgment, and the ECOWAS Court Niger Delta oil pollution judgment.”(NAN)

NAN reports that the letter was addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan (Peoples Democratic Party), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (All Progressives Congress and Chief Chekwas Okorie(All Progressives Grand Alliance).

NAN reports that the letter was addressed to Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya (Kowa Party) Mr Nani Ahmad (African Democratic Congress) and Mr Ambrose Albert (Hope Democratic Party).

The others are Mr Martin Onovo ( National Conscience Party) and Mr Ganiyu Galadima (Allied Congress Party of Nigeria).

SERAP said the forthcoming presidential election could usher in changes in Nigeria human rights and anticorruption commitments.




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