AFRICAN Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), in conjunction with Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation, on Thursday launched a whistleblowing platform to increase citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch of the platform in Abuja, AFRICMIL Director Chido Onumah said the platform, named Corruption Anonymous (CORA), was established to help citizens win the war against corruption and enhance accountability in public offices by providing a mechanism for anonymous reporting.
He added that the platform will also help in securing the identity of whistleblowers across the country.
“The CORA whistleblowing platform, the civil- society-driven public reporting option that we are launching today, serves as an invaluable tool that would fill the gap in the disclosure channels which have made fighting corruption through whistleblowing a challenging exercise for citizens.
”The CORA platform will complement the government’s whistleblowing platform managed by PICA and make it much easier for citizens to submit tips anonymously, without fear of being exposed and confident that the tips will be treated.”
In his remarks, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the platform will aid the government’s fight against corruption.
Malami, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Financial Crimes Abiodun Aikomo, added that corruption remains a major problem hindering the prosperity of the country.
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“The government cannot do it alone. So, we need everybody, I want you to know that the government is committed to bringing everybody on board,” Aikomo said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Bolaji Owasanoye, said the platform should be made easily accessible and as well, create secured and confidential hotlines for informants and the information received.
“Also necessary is continuous public enlightenment to ensure sustainability and avoid false and mischievous complaints and reports,” the ICPC boss added.
The event was concluded with a panel discussion on practical approaches and best practices towards encouraging whistleblowing in Nigeria.
The panellists include Oke Epia, Orderpaper Advocacy Initiative; Johnson Oluwadare, Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit; Azuka Ogugua, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission; and Amanambo Chidinma, EFCC Academy.