ICPC got 19, 381 petitions in 20 years

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye on Tuesday said the anti-graft agency received 19, 381 petitions in 20 years.

He said the commission successfully investigated about 5,000 of the petitions and prosecuted almost 1,000.

But he said ICPC secured convictions in about 20% of the cases over the years.

Owasanoye made the disclosures at a 20th anniversary African Regional Webinar Seminar in Abuja.

ICPC was established in June 2000 as the first anti-corruption agency by the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

In an opening address at the seminar, Owasanoye said ICPC was given a three-fold mandate including to investigate and where necessary prosecute corruption and related offences, prevent corruption by examining the systems and and to educate and enlist the support of the public against corruption.

He said: “Within its three-fold mandate, the Commission has in the past 20 years recorded a number of achievements. From 44 petitions in 2000 to 1,934 in 2019, it has received cumulatively 19,381 petitions in 20 years, successfully investigated about 5,000 of the petitions and prosecuted almost 1,000 and secured convictions in about 20% of the cases over the years including successfully defending up to the Supreme Court a challenge to the constitutionality of the enabling Act.

“Within the same period we have conducted 47 System Study Reviews on public sector MDAs and 5 CRAs in different key sectors of the economy including transport, education, health and the e-govemment system.”

“Furthermore, it has established 449 ACTUs in MDAs, established ACAN as training arm of the Commission, developed the National Values Curriculum being taught through different subjects at primary and post primary levels in schools across Nigeria, trained 13,739 public servants at ACAN and opened 15 state offices across Nigeria with at least 2 offices in each geo-political zone.

“The Commission made input to the introduction and design of BVN by Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and Bankers Committee and 1PPIS and GIFMIS to mention a few achievements.”

Owasanoye also said the commission has expanded its forensic capacity.

He added: “In the area of infrastructure we have in the past 16 months up-scaled the forensic capacities of the commission with modern soft and hard ware including handwriting, polygraphing, biometric and access control facilities.

“We have certified at least five world-class forensic experts and are training more. In 2019 we commenced an EDMS project to digitize the operational component of the Commission’s work and its legacy documents from inception. These measures have suddenly become ideal and imperative for coping with the effects of COVID19 pandemic on governance and operations.

“In pursuit of these projects and other objectives we initiated a number of strategic partnerships. We are collaborating with office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRs) National Social Investment Office, Federal Road Safety Commission, AMCON, NOA, NTA, PEBEC to mention a few. ICPC is the secretariat for the Inter-agency committee on IFFs in Nigeria through which measures to stem IFFs are frequently discussed.”

On his part, the Director-General of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Mr. Modibbo Hamman-Tukur said “Nigeria is far advanced and ahead of 55 or 56 African countries in tackling Illicit Financial Flows( IFF)

He said: “To fight IFF, it comes with a demand that at the government level, there must be regulations to engender transparency in government collections.

“For example, the Federal Government has 12 major sources of revenue, like Crude Oil and Gas sales, royalties, concessions, VAT and others. We need to work around these elements. Take the oil sector for example, a lot of bunkering is in place and sometimes nobody can account for what is being taken out.

“We have heard all the arguments around Stamp Duty but nobody will tell you the amount to be generated.”

Contributing, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau(CCB),Prof. Isa Mohammed said “rivalry among anti-corruption agencies is not what will help Nigeria. We need to ensure that there is collaboration and information sharing.

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