Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, has faulted the recently released report by Transparency International (TI) 2020 report of Corruption Perception Index (CPI) on Nigeria, accusing the body of being politically motivated.
The 2020 report claimed that Nigeria scored 25 out of 100 points in the 2020 CPI, meaning Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, ranking 149 out of 183.
But responding to the report through a statement released in Abuja, the APC chieftain said the report was based on opinions without reliable evidences.
According to him, the report is a poor attempt to politicise the fight against corruption largely because it completely ignores all the empirical cases that should have provided objective indicators for the performance of the Nigerian government.
“While it is important to stress that no government can be perfect and no government can successfully eliminate corruption, the CPI 2020 report on Nigeria present a very bad approach to engage the Nigerian government in the fight against corruption.
“How can any report of Nigeria’s fight against corruption in 2020, for instance, completely ignore some of the landmark corruption cases in 2020 such as the order for forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)?
“If the CPI report is in anyway correct that Nigeria dropped three point in 2020 to 149 from 146 in world ranking, how come Nigeria gained 15 points on the World Bank ranking of ease of Doing Business, emerging to 131st from 146th? The issue, which is a source of frustration to both the government and every patriotic Nigeria should be the question of what needs to be done to accelerate the process of securing judgement in corruption trials.
“This is a matter that would require some reform of our criminal justice system. Without securing judgement leading to conviction of corrupt public officials, the fight against corruption will be weak in the country. This is not a focus of the CPI.
“The challenge bordering on the management of our criminal justice system would appear to be responsible for the embarrassing situation whereby although judgements were secured in some corruption cases in Nigeria, which include the cases of Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu and Chief Olisah Metuh, they were reversed by Courts of Appeal and retrial ordered.”
Lukman said it is very difficult to reconcile the CPI 2020 report with most of the report about the performance of Nigerian government 2020.
He added that the report is part of moves towards the 2023 elections.