The governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has called on the Federal Government to grant amnesty to political office holders accused of looting the nation’s treasury.
Mr Umahi made the call on Monday in Abakaliki when he declared open the anti-corruption, ethics and integrity training organised by Anti Corruption Academy of Nigeria for local government officials in Ebonyi.
He expressed concern over the number of unresolved corruption cases and blamed the development on “wrong approach” by various anti-graft agencies.
“Ebonyi is determined to inaugurate an anti-corruption office because corruption remains the bane of Nigeria’s underdevelopment.
“The Federal Government should, however, be commended for its visible efforts in the fight against corruption in the country,” he said.
The governor charged the anti-graft agencies to be resolute and firm in the discharge of their duties and resist political manipulation.
He said that granting amnesty to individuals facing corruption charges would enable the government to recover stolen funds.
He said the fear of the anti-corruption agencies had sent several treasury looters into hiding their loot.
“We have so much of the looted funds either trapped in foreign banks, buried at cemeteries or underground and destroyed by termites,” the governor said.
He advised the Federal Government to negotiate with suspects to enable them to surrender at least 70 per cent of the looted funds or invest the entire loot in the country.
The governor said the training was designed to enlighten participants on the most effective way to fight corruption and ensure the overall development of the state.
Earlier, a representative of the Acting Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Rose Okoduwa, said the training was intended to bring the anti-graft crusade closer to the grassroots.
“We intend using the local government officials as vehicles of social re-engineering,” Mrs Okoduwa said.
She commended the anti-corruption stance of the state government and admonished council officials to shun corrupt tendencies.
“This will help to ensure that democracy dividend gets to the grassroots,” she said.