ECOWAS Commission seeks laws to protect whistle-blowers

The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has tasked ECOWAS parliamentarians to enact laws and other measures to protect whistleblowers in the region.Head, Democracy and Good Governance, ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Eyesan Okorodudu, said this during a paper presentation on “ECOWAS Protocol on Anti-Corruption and the Regional Network (NACIWA): What Progress?”

Okorodudu said that the fight against corruption was of must important to the commission, which borders on preventive measures.“We want to make the parliamentarians realise that there is need for them to work around measures to protect whistle-blowers.

“Because now, with the aid of social media, a lot of whistle-blowers do come up with very strong evidential reports on corrupt practices and when you see it on social media, it becomes an all comers.

“In one of the member-states, the whistleblower policy did not see the light of day in the parliament and you have to get an executive order,” he said.He said that the 15 member-countries of NACIWA adopted the strategy of protection tool that ECOWAS have put in place imploring them to set up a law on whistleblower stating that it was very cost intensive to embark on whistleblower policy.

Besides, he recommended that government should give the anti-corruption agencies independent powers to prosecute corruption matters.He said that the media and civil society organisations (CSOs) should ensure their oversight role of monitoring corruption cases is done with transparency.

However, Mr. Mahmoud Riadds, a researcher with the University of Benin, said that a participatory approach was needed in the fight against corruption.He said that with the participatory approach, people should not seat in their offices but meet with other relevant stakeholders to prevent corruption.

Riadds, who stated that judges needed to be careful because they are pacesetters and if they compromise, the state will be weakened and would not be stable, said in the fight against corruption, there must be measures taken to protect whistle-blowers so that after blowing the whistle, the person can sleep without being killed by hit men.

As reported from guardian

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