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Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, said only holistic and institutionalised approaches to the anti-graft crusade could guarantee success for Nigeria.

He said that though recent drop by Nigeria in the Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index was a “huge blow to the nation’s anti-graft war`’, it should be a wake-up call.

Ekweremadu, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Mr Uche Anichukwu, stated this at an anti-corruption event organised by the Yar’Adua Foundation in Abuja on Monday.

He said: “A sincere and meaningful anti-graft war must be holistic. Nigeria cannot wage war against one type of corruption in isolation of the others and expect to succeed.

“We cannot also succeed in this all-important war if we place a set of citizens above the law and if we accord red carpet reception back into office to some persons indicted or disciplined for corruption.

“Such attitudes cannot mobilise the needed national and international support in the anti-corruption crusade.

“It can only breed more corruption by giving some people a sense of above-the-law and embarrass us before the international community.”

The deputy president of the senate added that “we must build the relevant institutions and erect the requisite legal framework. Every arm and institution of government must play its part.

“I am happy to note that apart from exposing several corrupt practices in high places, the Senate has passed a number of bills to institutionalise and strengthen the anti-graft war.

“They include the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, which will assist the country to trace and recover looted funds, Witness Protection Bill and Whistleblower Protection Bill.

“Others are Audit Service Commission Bill and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Bill. Most of these bills are actually private-member bills.

“In the constitution amendment, which is at the concluding stage, we are making efforts to create an Office of Accountant-General of the Federal Government, different from Accountant-General of the Federation, to ensure accountability.

“Furthermore, we are working on granting autonomy to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.”

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