CLEEN foundation, a civil rights organization dedicated to promoting public safety, security and justice has trained some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW , artisans and women groups on how to report low level corruption perpetrated by law enforcement agents and public officials.
During the two-day interactive training programme held at the Lagos office of the organization on 25th and 26th February 2014, participants were trained on discreet ways of reporting corruption and bribery cases by law enforcement officers and public officials.
Mr. Gabriel Akinremi, a staff of CLEEN foundation who also trained the participants explained how many well meanings Nigerians have used the mobile phones and the social media in exposing corrupt government officials.
Akinremi demonstrated how to discreetly record a law enforcement of officer who is demanding for a bribe. According to him, the recording gadget mobile phone should be placed in such a way that the corrupt official will not notice.
He also told the participants to ensure while recording to capture the name and Identification number of the official for easy track down. He said they can take pictures, make phone calls to 0806-002-3936, 0706-789-9368, 01-7612479, send email to email@example.com, send a tweet with #stopthebribes and report through the organization’s facebook page http://www.facebook.com/stopthebribes
The instructor also informed the audience of a dedicated short code, 32811, where someone who falls a victim of bribe harassing officer or a passer-by can send a short message to report the incident.
Akinremi while enlightening the audience on how the complaint message should be written brought out a ‘Stop the bribes campaign ‘ fliers, and read an example, “ bribery, please I write to report that 2 minutes ago, an officer at the taxi junction forced me to pay N200 before passing. His service number is BR 2247 NGF” .
The CLEEN staff further explained that once the report hit the organization’s server, a call will be initiated to the duty post of the affected law enforcement officer to verify the complaints of the concerned person(s).
He said, “We have a steering committee which comprises government agencies like Nigerian Police Force, Road Safety Corp, Police Service Commission (PSC),
Economic and Financials Crime Commission (EFCC), Independent Corruption Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Public Complaints Commission (PCC), Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LAC), Consumer Protection Council (CPC), among others working on this project. So, we have enough personnel to promptly attend to complaints by affected individuals”.
Kunle (Not real name), representative of National Union of Road Transport Workers of Lagos who led a delegation of the Union’s members to the sensitization training expressed gratitude to the organizers . According to him, the interactive style of instruction adopted during the training was highly rewarding.
Kunle, who was obviously elated by the level of information availed him and the pledged support of the CLEEN foundation, vowed to resist further payment of bribery by law enforcement officers.
“I am surprise we can still find few organizations who are working for the advancement of corruption- free society like CLEEN Foundation. What we have learnt here was really eye opening to us”, he said with enthusiasm.
He lamented that the union workers were the most affected by the activities of unscrupulous corrupt enforcement officers especially the police. He claimed that his branch pays about N70,000 to officials of these officials on weekly basis as bribe.
He said, “You can imagine a branch of the union paying as much as N70,000 to policemen as settlement on weekly basis, but with the this enlightenment and the backing of this organization I believe all that will henceforth cease”.
A representative of the National Council of Women Societies ,Nigeria, Lagos State chapter Nigeria, Madam Tituke (Not real name), also commended the organizers of the workshop, she urged the organization to continue enlightening the people on how to curb corrupt practices among public officials.
“As I am leaving here now, I will be lecturing other women on what I have learnt here and challenge them to report officials who are harassing them for bribes” Madam Tituke said.