Nigeria’s Zuma statue slammed
LAGOS: The unveiling of the statue of President Jacob Zuma last month and that of Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf last week in Owerri, the Imo State capital in Nigeria, has continued to generate criticism and calls to anti-corruption agencies to investigate the governor’s actions.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (Serap), an NGO, has petitioned the chairperson of the Code of Conduct Bureau and that of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, to jointly “investigate allegations of incompatibility or an apparent conflict of interest and abuse of office involving governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State in connection with the exercise of his public functions and leadership of the Rochas Okorocha Foundation’’. In a statement released on Sunday by Serap, the body also wants the two agencies to collaborate with the antigraft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in any investigation.
“Such investigation would help to improve public confidence in public authorities, and minimise the risks of bad government by public officials,” Serap said.
It expressed “serious concern” that the governor may have spent over 1 billion Nigerian naira (about R40 million) of public funds to build statues of the two African presidents.
According to the group, the spending on statues and apparent misuse of public resources may have violated constitutional provisions and international standards on code of conduct for public officers.