The former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Dr Chidi Odinkalu, has said the country’s system grants corrupt political officeholders immunity from prosecution.
He made the remark on Wednesday in Abuja at the Just Friends Club of Nigeria (JFCN) 5th Annual Public Lecture and 10th anniversary of the club with the theme, “Resetting Nigeria”.
“Evidently, one reason elected office is more attractive to criminals than to the honest is that only the criminals will take advantage of the opportunities for corruption. But there is a further reason: elected office provides immunity from prosecution,” Odinkalu said.
The former NHRC boss said that credibility is a function of both the nature of its electoral legitimacy or mandate, and that government’s fidelity to the norms of political behaviour is founded on effective civics.
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In his welcome remarks, Mr Fred Ohwahwa, President of the JFCN, said that the organisation would embark on lots of developmental activities.
He said, “Our club has been growing in leaps and bounds, especially in the current year. For the first time, we now have women as members. We have also expanded in terms of the ages of members and their geographical places of origin.
“The elections have come and gone. And depending on which side of the political divide you are in, you can either breathe a sigh of relief that Nigeria has been saved or be despondent on the present state of the country.”