Femi Falana (SAN)

Lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, says the bulk of corruption taking place in Nigeria should not only be traced to the Nigerian government but also the governments of western countries.

Speaking on the reality of a life of integrity in Nigeria at the media lunch of Upright for Nigeria, in Lagos, he labelled London as the most corrupt city in terms of receiving stolen wealth from around the world.

Further pointing out that the most corrupt leaders in the world have their funds hidden in western countries, Falana asked: “How can you say Nigeria is corrupt whereas Britain that receives the stolen wealth from Nigeria under Abacha, Babangida, Zaire under Mobutu are not corrupt?”

Citing chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution, he explained that the Constitution imposed a duty on the government to eradicate corruption and abuse of office, with the mass media promoting public accountability and transparency in the affairs of the government.

Speaking on the role of the media in the fight against corruption, he said that before the birth of EFCC and ICPC, the media was fighting corruption in Nigeria.

Further pointing that it is impossible to have a corrupt free country where majority of the people living in the country are sentenced to poverty, he said “the reality of a life of integrity is a mirage in any country where majority of the people have been sentenced to live in poverty”.

The lawyer added that efforts by the present administration to recover looted funds are a tip of the iceberg, though there is an improvement over previous regimes in terms of loot recovery

“What I’m saying has nothing to do with whistle-blowing,' he said. "Those of us who are interested in assisting the country to recover looted wealth in this country, I’m not talking of percentage or any reward."

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