Anti-corruption agencies sound alarm, say corruption, illicit financial flows, fueling military takeovers in West Africa

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Kingsley Nwezeh

Anti-corruption agencies yesterday sounded the alarm over rampant corruption, illicit financial flows from Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and the inability of member states of the sub-regional bloc, the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) to meet the requirements of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption fueled military coups in West Africa.

Speaking in Abuja at the 5th General Assembly of National Anti-Corruption Agencies in West Africa on the theme: “The role of regional economic communities in the implementation of the African Union Convention on preventing and combating corruption”, Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (CIPC), Professor Bolaji Owosanoye, said that the failure of Member States to combat corruption was a origin of the unconstitutional change of government in the sub-region.

“We are all aware that corruption is a major contributing factor to Africa’s underdevelopment. Presumably, the failure of our institutions to fully implement our individual mandates and, by implication, regional treaty obligations is a contributing factor to the resurgence of the unconstitutional takeover of government in the western sub-region. African,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein at the event, EFCC Chairman Mr. Bawa Abdulrasheed linked security issues in the sub-region to corruption.

“As you may know, the ECOWAS sub-region is threatened by existential security challenges which may not be directly or indirectly unrelated to corruption.

“We therefore need to step up our efforts to stem the tide of illicit financial flows into the region, including illicit flows from politically exposed persons (PEPs),” he said.

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