President Jonathan on Sunday insisted that he will not fight corruption by jailing people, stating that he was going to build a system that would block people’s direct access to funds.
The President said this at a corporate forum titled, ‘An Evening with Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan’ in Lagos on Sunday.
He said even if five million Nigerians were thrown into jail for corruption, graft would still continue if the system was porous.
He said, “People always say government is not fighting corruption but our position is very clear. We are fighting corruption and our position is that fighting corruption is not all about jailing people and showing them on television sets.
“In this country, we never had armed robbery until the civil war when small arms were being used. Initially, armed robbers were being shot in public and later in secret. But it did not stop armed robbery; so our commitment is in the British law system that states that it is better for nine criminals to go free than for one innocent person to suffer undue punishment. In that case, the concept of beyond reasonable doubt is always difficult to prove in corrupt cases and that is why they even accuse the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) of going for plea bargain.
“In the area of arrest, the EFCC has prosecuted more people and has secured more convictions than before but even if you prosecute 10 million Nigerians and convict five million, it will not stop corruption. Yes, you are fighting corruption which must continue but the most important thing is to block those avenues that corruption can occur.”
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