Will the Cross River State government sincerely open its doors and allow the newly inaugurated anti-graft agency to probe its financial activities including those of the governor, Prof Ben Ayade and other public officials?
Will the governor, for example, allow a probe into the handling of signature projects undertaken by his government which are still being questioned by critical stakeholders in the state? If members of the public take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act to request certain information on government’s spending, will they be allowed access, including access to information on exactly how much the government has generated through internal revenue sources and how the monies are being spent?
These have been the question since last Friday when the governor inaugurated members of the state anti-corruption commission with a charge no them to be above board in the discharge of their duties.
The seven-member commission has Hon. Justice Effiom Ita (Rtd) as chairman. The inauguration which took place at the State Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar had the deputy governor, Professor Ivara Esu and other top government functionaries in attendance.
Speaking at the event, the governor expressed optimism that the commission will help block leakages in government. According to him, “there are so many places that we have leakages that we believe that your presence can help to block.
“We would want to be a perfect example of how a public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission could play its role. Therefore, there should be no political intrusions of any kind, no hatchets, nothing intended against anyone. It is our intention to give glory to the state and not shame the state”
The governor further charged members of the commission to “also work with your conscience. You should never, ever be used for any other purpose other than the purpose for which the commission was constituted. So bear in mind that you have been elevated through this commission to serve God before serving the state.”
Responding, Justice Ita commended the governor for birthing the commission, assuring that the members will not disappoint.
” l stand here to promise you and to pledge that we shall do our very best. Permit me to say that as we have come onboard as members of this commission, it rests on our shoulders to perform”, Justice Ita said.
Other members of the Commission include Barrister Akiride Emmanuel, Eferi Eni Okoi, Comrade John Odey( representing the state government), Mrs Franca Inok, CSP Emmanuel Adam( representing the Nigerian police) and Faluyi Oluwale( representing the Department of State Security Service (DSS).