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Jonathan and Corruption; Prof Sagay is talking nonsense

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sagayJonathan didn’t understand that corruption is wrongdoing – Sagay

Sagay is talking nonsense…I am disappointed at him. He

should simply do his job without talking rubbish.

The Chairman of the seven-man Presidential Advisory Committee on War Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), in an interview with PUNCH was asked:

PUNCH: What do you think was responsible for the former President’s inability to tackle corruption?

SAGAY: I don’t think he saw it as a wrongdoing; that is my impression. A man who could say stealing is not corruption just shows you he didn’t even understand what corruption is. He didn’t seem to realise that stealing is equally a crime. It is as if to say, ‘He merely stole, so we should leave him alone and not bother about that’. There is a certain lack of awareness of the gravity of corruption and its associated concept — a combination of ignorance and a certain, very dangerous innocence, I would say. If you don’t know anything is wrong at that stage and you’re head of a country in which a state is controlling hundreds of billions, meanwhile everybody is helping himself; it is very dangerous for the country.


Does Sagay’s answer demonstrate real insight about Jonathan’s administration and corruption?

I’d say Sagay is simply working hard to keep a job he admitted has no description. SAD…hear his to another question:

PUNCH: In the simplest terms, what are the responsibilities of your panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari on his anti-graft war which you head?

SAGAY: We are not a probing organisation. The (anti-graft) agencies are already there. Our job, really, is to provide support. We are first to promote the fight against corruption generally, then to intervene comprehensively in the whole process in order to promote and support the existing agencies to be more effective and to have more capacity. We are also to make the administration of criminal justice more effective; produce results quickly and efficiently. Very broadly, that is what we are supposed to do.

PUNCH: Can you break it down into specifics?

SAGAY: There is no need breaking it down because our mandate is very wide.



The jury is still out on Jonathan and insightful Pundits will have much to say regarding the former administration’s failure to fight corruption, but with regards to Sagay’s claim with regards to Jonathan’s statement that stealing is not corruption, below is Jonathan’s explanation:

Jonathan Explains ‘Stealing Is Not Corruption’ – February 12, 2015

President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday clarified what he meant by stealing is not corruption, saying he was quoted out of context.

Responding to questions during a presidential media chat on Wednesday, the President explained that the remark flowed from a discussion he had with a former chief justice of the federation, who told him of how he had to distinguish straight acts of stealing from other forms of corruption he acted upon.

“People who told you I said stealing is not corruption did not tell you I said stealing is good. That is why philosophers say that the primary reason people disagree is because people use one statement to explain two typical things or vice versa.

“I made that statement because I quoted the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mustapha, (when) I called a meeting then, with the anti-crime organisations and the judiciary.

“The CJN, Mustapha decided to take a look at the files that dealt with corruption and more than 80 per cent of them were just cases of stealing. But people use corruption to cover all. What I am saying is that let us go to the South-West and go to a typical community and they look at you and say this man is corrupt, people will be looking at you. But call that same man “ole”, that is thief, and see what will happen to him. Our people hate thieves more than corrupt people, yet most times, we use corruption to cover the lapses.

“A thief should be called a thief and treated as such. In my village, when an adult steals, they strip him unclad, humiliate him and his family, but if you say this man is corrupt, they won’t know what you are talking about. We are using corruption to cover it all up.

“So, let us communicate properly. It was not me that said it, I quoted Mustapha. He examined the corruption cases and he saw that they were just cases of stealing.

“We are identifying thieves; we can talk about what the agencies are doing. We have made more convictions in this period than before. But I always say that the answer is not convicting more people. We must make sure that they don’t steal. Do not put the money where they can steal it. That is what we are doing.

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