by Usman Alabi
Perhaps, the whistle blower policy is an attempt by the federal government to adopt a multifaceted approach to fight corruption. I sincerely hope that that is what it is because as fantastic as the whistleblower policy is, it is not enough to fight corruption in Nigeria.
Is the whistleblower policy paying off giving the recent discovery of stolen funds by the EFCC based on tip off by whistleblowers. The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed disclosed that the federal government has recovered over $151m and N8bn in looted funds courtesy whistle blowers.
The recent cases of looted funds discovered by EFCC courtesy tip off from whistle blowers include the following:
FEBRUARY 09, 2017: $9.2 million discovered in the house of the former GMD of NNPC, Andrew YAKUBU
MARCH 13,2017: EFCC intercepted N49 million hidden in five sacks at the Kaduna international airport
APRIL 08, 2017: EFCC uncovered N448 million in a shop at LEGICO shopping Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos after a tip off by a whistleblower.
APRIL 10, 2017: EFCC discovered the sum of N250 million at the popular Balogun market in Lagos after a tip off from a whistleblower
APRIL 11, 2017: EFCC discovered N4 billion suspected to be proceeds of crime from two accounts, the monies were found in two companies- Katah Property & Investment Limited and Sadiq Air Travel Agency
APRIL 12, 2017: EFCC in Lagos discovered $43.4million, £27,800 and N23.2 million at an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.
There are also assets that have been uncovered based on whistle blower tip off and some of such cases were probably not disclosed to the public because of the sensitivity of the cases involve.
Does all these discoveries means that this policy is paying off? Perhaps, we should first emphasis the fact that the whistle blower policy is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, we are new comers when it comes to this policy. Countries like South Africa, Australia, United States, South Korea have one form of whistleblower protection law or another.
Presently, based on the recent discoveries, the policy is actually paying off, especially given the enormity of the amount of monies the EFCC has uncovered based on tip off, not only this but, the unusual extent these looters go to hide their loot. But then if these policy is paying off, the next question should then be how it can be instituted into our legal superstructure. How can this policy be legalized not entirely in the present form which is quite vague, but in a well defined form that would take care of any unforeseen eventuality.
It would be difficult to effectively predict the future of this policy if it is not subsumed within the context of the law, even with this it is also important to state that we cannot solely rely on the whistleblower policy in the fight against corruption