Speakers at the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Human and Environmental Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has spoken on the need to redouble efforts at the crusade on anti corruption and the building of a nation on the rule of law.

The speakers spoke at the 20th anniversary Lecture to mark the foundation of HEDA.Resource Centre on Saturday in Lagos .

The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Mr Olanipekun Olukoyede, spoke on the theme: “Navigating the Nexus of Anti-Corruption and Good Governance in Nigeria: Striking a Balance for Economic, Social, and Environmental Justice.”

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Olukoyede said that HEDA was one of the most prolific Civil Society Organization in terms of petitions received.

He said that HEDA has remained consistent in its crusade against corruption in the last 20 years of its foundation.

According to him, the EFCC and HEDA are on the same page in reducing corruption in Nigeria.

“As we salute HEDA for its impactful strides over the past two decades. Many would not know this, but record shows that HEDA is one of the most prolific CSOs in terms of the number of petitions it has forwarded to the EFCC, many of them leading to investigation.

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“HEDA remains a pillar of anti-corruption advocacy and a consistent voice for public accountability and transparency in a crowed community of non-profit organisations, where it is increasingly becoming difficult isolating the committed from hordes of pretenders.

“It is in recognition of the long-standing efforts of HEDA and its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju to deepen the anti-corruption fight and improve accountability across all spheres of our national life that I welcome the invitation to speak at this event.

“I am happy to share my thoughts with you on an issue that tugs at our collective heartstrings, knowing that both the EFCC and HEDA, are on the same page, which is that we are resolved to see the end of corruption, the widely acclaimed harbinger of every ill bedevilling our dear country.

“The theme of this public lecture: “Navigating the Nexus of the Anti-Corruption and Good Governance in Nigeria: Striking a Balance for Economic, Social and Environmental Justice,” is responsive to the overarching need of our nation to not only break the shackles of corruption but translate the investment in resources and time in the anti-corruption enterprise into meaningful impact on the economic, environmental and social lives of Nigerians.

“Between Anti-Corruption and Good Governance
Establishing the link between anti-corruption and good governance is not a complex proposition. But it is imperative to properly contextualize their nexus, as the contextual framework within which a system is located is ultimately important, given that it provides the bearings and supplies the parameters for measuring its essence,” Olukoyede said.

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The EFCC chair said that good governance speaks to a system that delivers public good to all and where the rule of law is respected.

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He said that corruption was at the root of bad governance.

He noted that the task of fighting corruption was a daunting one that needs the cooperation of everybody.

” I got gray hairs in less that four months of my appointment as EFCC chairman.

“Upon assumption of office, we received over 5000 petitions out of which I approved the investigation of 3000,” Olukoyede said.

He said that corruption has so permeated the system requiring more work and thorough investigation.

He said that the commission was putting in checks and systems to nip corruption in the board before it happens.

Earlier, the Chairperson of the event, Justice Lateefat Okunnu said that efforts should be geared towards building very strong institutions and systems that follow and respect the rule of law.

Okunnu, who is a Judge of the Lagos State High Court, commended HEDA for remaining dogged and consistent in its anti corruption crusade.

In her remarks, the Chairperson, Board of Trustees of HEDA, Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa said that HEDA had put in a lot of work in the last 20 years of its foundation.

Atsenuwa, who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, said that the advocacy of HEDA led to the establishment of the EFCC and the ICPC.

According to her, HEDA has also distinguished itself in the areas of environmental justice, anti corruption and the promotion of good governance and the rule of law.

Also Dr Muiz Banire (SAN) said that no country could grow without the rule of law.

“We need to by all means deal with the evil of corruption.

“Without the rule of law, we cannot have good governance,” Banire said.

The Executive Secretary of HEDA, Mr Sulaimon Arigbabu said that 20 years of HEDA meant a lot of more hard work .

Arigbabu said that HEDA would focus attention on building the capacity of people in the area of anti corruption, good governance and the rules of law.

He noted that the building of capacity informed the partnership between HEDA and UNILAG Consult on the award of Diploma certificate in the subject areas mentioned above.

The climax of the event was the Public Presentation of a Publication on: “The 2023 General Elections: Trends in Politics and Elections in Nigeria.”

In his comments on the publication, Prof Adele Jinadu said:

“The environment in which we conduct our politics is inimical to the success of the election.

“Let us stop talking to the politicians, talk to the human beings on the streets,” Jinadu said.

The event attracted eminent Nigerians, Civil Society Organizations and persons from all walks of life.