Twitter Facebook Youtube
More ECOWAS member States indicate interest in whistle blower strategy
Group picture of participants at the advocacy and sensitization meeting on ECOWAS whistleblower protection strategy in Cote d’Ivoire

Abuja, 28 March 2017. Niger and Sierra Leone are desirous of promoting the ECOWAS Regional Whistle Blower Strategy in their countries and consequently using the opportunity to advocate for their own national policy.

The heads of the countries’ anti-corruption agencies have made this known to the ECOWAS Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), encouraged by the impressive sensitization of stakeholders on the imperative of the whistle-blower protection strategy in Liberia, the Republic of Benin and Cote d’Ivoire.

By this indication, the massive support already being accorded the entrenchment of a whistle blower law meant to be taken advantage of by citizens of West Africa in the fight against corruption, is boosted.

The drive to entrench the whistle-blower strategy in ECOWAS Member States embody the enactment of a stand-alone law to protect the whistle blower as the strategy is expected to strengthen Member States’ performance on the anti-corruption risk assessor’s index.

According to the Head, Good Governance Division of PAPS Mr. Eyesan Okorodudu, a stand-alone law backing the regional whistle blowers’ strategy is useful both to be cited for prosecuting purposes as defence and while at the same time beneficial for putting the case that is unearthed by the whistle-blower to a moral court of the public.

He noted that the stand alone law which the Parliaments of Member States are being urged to enact, allows for far-reaching penetration while whistle blowing has to be correctly seen as is a preventive mechanism in the fight against corruption.

The plan, he noted further, is to involve members of ECOWAS Civil Society Organizations Platform on Transparency and Accountability in Governance (ECSOPTAG) and train them as Corruption Risk Assessors (CRAs.)

The CRAs are usually deployed to conduct corruption assessment in public sectors such as; water, education, sea and air ports as well as health services.

Following the Witnesses Protection Meeting organized by the Development Partners in Monrovia, Liberia in September 2016, ECOWAS successfully facilitated the sensitization of stakeholders on the importance of having Whistle blower Protection Strategy in February and March 2017, in the Republic of Benin and Cote d’Ivoire respectively.

The meetings sensitized Civil Society Organisations (CSOs,), security agencies, Media practitioners and operational staff of National Anti-corruption Institutions and agencies among others, on the need for a robust advocacy on the enactment of a stand-alone law on whistle-blowers’ protection.

Participants at the meetings had acknowledged the increasing role of the Parliament in the fight against corruption and urged ECOWAS to facilitate the establishment of a regional Network of Parliamentarians to support the region’s fight against corruption.

Also, the increasing collective consciousness of the necessity of up-holding the values of integrity and transparency in the management of public resources in the region, was highlighted.

A bulk of the expected line of action however stems from the adoption of the Monrovia Statement on Whistle-blower and Witness Protection in West Africa. The statement endorses a document which formulated a list of priority actions and recommendations per country with a view to facilitating the establishment of effective whistle-blower and witness protection systems at the national levels.

Apart from to taking care of the growing negative culture of silence over the matter, the statement is meant to deal with the observed growing challenges and threats facing whistle-blowers and witnesses in the region.

By facilitating meetings and workshops on the subject matter, the ECOWAS Commission is giving backing to its pledge to continue to promote and sustain a culture whereby whistle-blowers on corruption in the region are protected at all times.

Share on :

Twitter Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Youtube Instgram