By Adenike Lucas – 14/12/2017 17:16 pm GMT
David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has tasked those fighting corruption to be transparent.
In a speech given at the Clifford Chance building in London on Wednesday evening, Mr Cameron who stepped down after failing to win a vote to stay in the European Union said: “Transparency is the antidote to corruption.
“People should be able to see what’s being done with their money and in their name.”
He mused about a gaffe he made where a recording showed him telling the Queen, Nigeria and Afghanistan were fantastically corrupt countries.
“I forgot that the cameras were rolling and the mics were picking up our conversation as I told her that we had representatives from fantastically corrupt countries like Nigeria and Afghanistan.
“Sometimes there is such a thing as being too open and transparent.
“Rather embarrassed, I got back to Downing Street and immediately called the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, who was in his aeroplane, shortly to land. I was worried he might turn around and go home.”
Despite the media embarrassment, the former Conservative leader still argued that journalists have an essential part to play in the fight against corruption.
“Journalists don’t just write the first draft of history; they’re the first on the scene – when it comes to corrupt acts,” he said at the event which began at 6:30 pm. .
“Without a reporter at that inquest, court case or council meeting without that Freedom of Information request; without that undercover investigation so much goes unchecked and unquestioned.”
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Nigeria recently negotiated the return of $321 million looted by a deceased Military Head of State, General Sani Abatcha.
In a chat at Chatham House, Abubakar Malami, SAN tasked the media to “the international media to highlight corrupt actors in the international finance world.
“One concern is trial by media, he said: “of those suspected of being corrupt. This government remains committed to due process.
“There is currently a lack of independent investigative journalism on anti-corruption in Nigeria.
“The rule of law must be used to promote the supremacy of the public interest, not private selfish interests.”