Commonwealth To Assist Nigeria Fight Violent Extremism, Financial Crimes

The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Rt Hon. Patricia Janet Scotland, has said that the difficulties which Nigeria faces today are very similar to what was faced by virtually every country on this planet.

She stated this during a public lecture organised by the Savannah Centre For Diplomacy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the ministry’s headquarters, targeted at ways to combat violent extremism, corruption and financial crimes and recovery of stolen money in foreign banks.

“I came to Nigeria to listen. If I am going to be your voice in the commonwealth I have to not only hear you but understand what I hear,” she said, emphasising on best practice models based on common position, common law and common constitution that could be used to fight crime.

She identified two things deemed vital in fighting crime, namely; the need to increase the risk that the individual will be caught, and secondly, if caught that individual should be stripped of the burden of their ill-gotten gains. She added that there was no need to reinvent the wheel when a good model was already in place and called for the need to pull together the expertise of involved agencies.

She equally mentioned the bribery act of 2010 which creates a more comphrensive instrument for a benchmark to fight corruption, saying that an anti-corruption tool kit was needed to create a common best practice module across commonwealth countries.

The Baroness stressed on the need to work together to avoid failure. “We can either swim together or drown separately and it is a choice for all of us,” she indicated.

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