Eminent people across the world including former heads of state and government have called for the establishment of an International Anti-Corruption Court to make sure that leaders who steal their countries’ wealth do not escape justice.
Coming together under Integrity Initiatives International, these leaders have made a declaration calling for the establishment with immediate effect.
In a declaration they signed, they described themselves as concerned individuals, former officials, business leaders, representatives of civil society and of government, dedicated to promoting human rights, human health, and international peace and security.
They include Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister of Sweden, Moncef Marzouki, former President of Tunisia,Rosen Plevneliev former President of Bulgaria, Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia and Nobel Laureate, Haris Silajdžić, former Prime Minister and former Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia
Founding Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria, Nuhu Ribadu also signed the declaration.
Other anti-corruption crusaders from the world also signed the declaration.
They said that an International Anti-Corruption Court was necessary “because Grand Corruption – the abuse of public office for private gain by a nation’s leaders (“kleptocrats”) – thrives in many countries and has devastating consequences.”
According to them, kleptocrats corruptly enrich themselves from the trillions of dollars being spent to promote global public health and counter climate change.
They said: “Kleptocrats are robbing their countries of funds needed to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Grand Corruption undermines democracy as kleptocrats use their power to suppress the media and civil society, and subvert honest elections.
“Refugees fleeing failed states led by kleptocrats constitute international crises. Uprisings in opposition to Grand Corruption destabilize many countries and endanger international peace and security.”
Another reason they gave for calling for an international court to fight corruption is that kleptocrats are able to evade prosecution in their countries because they control the justice system.
They said: “We know that Grand Corruption is not flourishing because of a lack of laws. The 187 countries that are party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (“UNCAC”) each have laws criminalizing corrupt conduct. Yet kleptocrats enjoy impunity because they control the administration of justice in the countries that they rule.”
These eminent people also argued that because grand corruption had global consequences and often could not be combated by the countries most immediately victimized by kleptocrats, “a new international institution – an International Anti-Corruption Court – is necessary and justified.”
They recommend that through its agreed mandate, IACC should have jurisdiction to prosecute violations of existing domestic anti-corruption laws, or a new international counterpart of them, by kleptocrats and their collaborators, if the country the kleptocrat rules is unwilling or unable to prosecute a case itself.
They said: “The IACC should have the authority to prosecute crimes committed by nationals of Member States, and by nationals of other states who commit crimes in the territory of a Member State.
“The IACC should be a court of last resort with the capacity to prosecute and imprison kleptocrats, and thus create opportunities for the democratic process to replace them with honest leaders.
“The IACC should have in civil as well as criminal cases the authority to recover, repatriate, and repurpose illicit assets for the victims of Grand Corruption.”
While declaring their support for an International Anti-Corruption Court, they argued that the court “is urgently needed to promote democracy and human rights, protect human life and health, and enhance international peace and security.
Chilaka Presents New Book June 17
The Rise, Fall and Liquidation of Africa’s Premier Carriers: Nigerian National Shipping Line and Black Star Line by Dr. Edmund Chilaka is set to launch on Thursday June 17 this year at Etal Hotel, 1-15 Ede Street, Off Kofo Abayomi Street, Apapa at 12pm.
The book, which will be reviewed by Prof. David Aworawo, is the culmination of a Ph.D. research on the activities of the first two shipping lines to be floated by the governments of Ghana and Nigeria in 1957 and 1959, respectively.
As noted by the author, scholars, policymakers and investors will find the book insightful and captivating while former employees of the NNSL and BSL, their families and other stakeholders and aficionados will discover much empathy and nostalgia in its pages.
Expected at the unveiling include the chief launchers like the Chairman, Sifax Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi; CEO, Sea Transport Group, Alhaji Aminu Umar; Chairman, Comet Group, Chief Musa Danjuma; the Chairman, Integrated Oil & Gas Ltd and Chief Host, Captain E. Iheanacho.
The keynote speakers are: the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Hassan Bello; Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh and the President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, Dr. M.K. George.