Independent Corrupt Practices Commission

The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), (in full the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) is a Nigerian agency that was inaugurated on 29 September 2000 following the recommendation of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The mandate is to receive and investigate reports of corruption and in appropriate cases prosecute the offender(s), to examine, review and enforce the correction of corruption prone systems and procedures of public bodies, with a view to eliminating corruption in public life, and to educate and enlighten the public on and against corruption and related offences with a view to enlisting and fostering public support for the fight against corruption.[1] The Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000 governs the committee's activities.[2]

Relationship with other organizations edit

In 2003, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was established as a law enforcement agency to investigate financial crimes such as advance fee fraud (419 fraud) and money laundering.[3] While the ICPC targets corruption in the public sector, especially bribery, gratification, graft, and abuse or misuse of office, the EFCC investigates people in all sectors who appear to be living above their means, and is empowered to investigate and prosecute money laundering and other financial crimes. The EFCC tracks illicit wealth accruing from abuse of office, especially attempts to integrate such wealth into the financial system.[4] There have been tensions between the two commissions. The ICPC chairman, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, has complained about duplication of the functions of ICPC by the EFCC, particularly overlap between the ICPC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Monitoring Units and the EFCC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Committees.[5]

The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) is a global organization of professionals dedicated to controlling and preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. In June 2009, ACAMS established a Nigerian chapter in Lagos. The Chairman of the ICPC, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, said the ICPC was looking forward to a fruitful partnership with ACAMS in the campaign against corruption and all other related crimes.[6] The commission works with other international bodies such as the United Nations Committee on Anti-Corruption (UNCAC), Transparency International, and the African Union (AU) Convention Against Corruption.[7]

In September 2009, a Federal High Court judge refused a request to issue a mandamus order compelling the ICPC and the EFCC to investigate and prosecute the FCT Minister, Senator Adamu Aliero, over alleged diversion of N10.2 billion public funds while he held office as Kebbi State governor. The court explained it did not have authority to compel the agencies to act.[8]

2009 Review of mandate edit

In June 2009 the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Anti-Corruption moved to amend the Acts setting up the ICPC and the EFCC so as to guarantee independence from the executive. Two of the proposals were to give the EFCC Chair a legally stipulated tenure of four years, and to require Senate approval for removal of members of either commission.[9] A merger of the two agencies was also considered. At public hearings on the amendments, Senate President David Mark expressed concern that the EFCC and the ICPC would have too much power without another body supervising their work. However, the EFCC Chairman, Farida Waziri said it was important for anti-corruption agencies to remain independent of politicians, whom they often investigated. She expressed concern that the proposed amendment would rather limit than enhance the effectiveness of the agencies.[10]

Chairmen edit

Name Role Start End Notes
Justice Mustapha Akanbi Chairman 2000 2005 [11]
Justice Emmanuel Ayoola Chairman 2005 2010 [12]
Professor Uriah Angulu Acting Chairman March 2011 [13]
Dr. Rose Abang-Wushishi Acting Chairman March 2011 August 2011 [14]
Barrister Abdullahi Bako Acting Chairman August 2011 November 2011 [14]
Barrister Ekpo Una Owo Nta Acting Chairman November 2011 June 2012 [15]
Chairman June 2012 January 2018 [16]
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye Chairman January 2018 Present

Prosecutions edit

In the first three years of its existence, the ICPC received a total of 942 petitions. In August 2003 about 400 of the petitions were under investigation, and about 60 were at various stages of prosecution.[17] After the first four years, however, the ICPC had failed to make any major convictions. Justice Akanbi blamed the lack of progress in part on severe underfunding, in part on the fact that the commission was not authorized to investigate corrupt activity prior to the date the ICPC was founded.[18]

The ICPC has prosecuted a number of prominent Nigerians. Some examples are Ghali Umar Na'Abba, speaker of the House of Representatives (2002), Fabian Osuji, head of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education (2006).[19][20][21]

In June 2004, Justice Mustapha Akanbi said that although several petitions had been written against state governors, the ICPC was not empowered to investigate governors involved in corrupt practices.[22] However, in August 2008 Emmanuel Ayoola said the commission would soon issue a list of former state governors found to have violated the provisions of the ICPC Act 2000. He noted that some of them were already being prosecuted for money laundering, and said the ICPC was scrutinising the file to see whether there are cases they could pursue.[23]

In August 2009 the ICPC started investigations into an alleged N90 billion fraud leveled against managers of Pension Fund for retirees in the health sector.[24] In September 2009, the ICPC summoned officials of the Ministry of Education linked with the alleged mismanagement of N1 billion meant for the Education Reform Programme.[25]

In March 2015, ICPC made public the status of criminal cases within its precinct as at March 2015. The list contained 267 criminal cases between 2001 and 2015, and 142 civil cases between 2007 and 2015.[26]

Controversies edit

Theft is not corruption edit

The Chairman Ekpo Nta narrowed the meaning of corruption by government officials: "Stealing is erroneously reported as corruption. We must go back to what we were taught at school to show that there are educated people in Nigeria. We must address issues as we were taught in school to do."[27]

It followed the previous similar announcement by the Nigerian President Goodluck: "What many Nigerians refer to as corruption is actually stealing. Stealing is not the same thing as corruption."[28]

References edit

  1. ^ "NIGERIA Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission - a Brief Overview". Independent Commission Against Corruption (Hong Kong). Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  2. ^ "The Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000". International Centre for Nigerian Law. Archived from the original on 12 March 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  3. ^ "The Establishment Act". Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 2008. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  4. ^ "Transparency and Accountability in the Public Service". Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 28 September 2009. Archived from the original on 13 October 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  5. ^ Yusuf Alli (11 September 2008). "CPC, EFCC clash over anti-corruption committees". The Nation. Retrieved 11 October 2009.[dead link]
  6. ^ Bola Olajuwon (25 June 2009). "ICPC, EFCC chiefs, others task anti-money laundering body on service" (PDF). The Guardian. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  7. ^ Salihu Othman Isah (10 January 2007). "When EFCC and ICPC praise Shekarau". Daily Triumph. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  8. ^ Ise-Oluwa Ige (1 October 2009). "Court declines to order Aliero's probe over alleged N10.2bn fraud". Vanguard. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  9. ^ "More Autonomy for EFCC, ICPC". Daily Independent (Lagos). 17 June 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  10. ^ "Fear of EFCC, ICPC". Vanguard. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  11. ^ "Justice Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi". Mustapha Akanbi Foundation. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  12. ^ "About the Keynote Speaker: Justice Emmanuel Olayinka Ayoola" (PDF). Nigerian Lawyers Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  13. ^ "Federal Government Sacks Angulu As ICPC Acting Chairman". The Will. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  14. ^ a b "PRESIDENT JONATHAN APPOINTS NEW ACTING ICPC CHAIRMAN". City Flavour Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Ekpo Owo Nta Appointed as ICPC Acting Chairman". Sharp Edge News. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  16. ^ ABDULMALIK DAHIRU (6 June 2012). "SENATE CONFIRMS EKPO UNA OWO NTA AS ICPC CHAIRMAN". The Mace. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Independent Corrupt Practices Commission Has Received 942 Petitions Since Inception". This Day. 29 August 2003. Retrieved 12 October 2009.[dead link]
  18. ^ "NIGERIA: Why Obasanjo's war on corruption is faltering". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 30 July 2004. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
  19. ^ Henry Ugbolue (30 September 2002). "Na'abba Faces Graft Panel". The News (Lagos). Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  20. ^ Dotun Oladipo; Oluyinka Akintunde; Dayo Aiyeyemi (23 March 2005). "Osuji dismissed, Wabara, others for trial". The Punch. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  21. ^ Emmanuel Ulayi; Tordue Salem; Innocent Anaba; Inalegwu Shaibu (19 November 2007). "Siemens - ICPC Probes Aminu, Adebayo, Others". Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  22. ^ Lillian Okenwa (17 June 2004). "Why ICPC Can't Investigate Governors, By Akanbi". This Day. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
  23. ^ Batoum Christine (12 August 2008). "NIGERIA: ICPC TO ARREST 23 EX-GOVERNORS". Dreamreal. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  24. ^ Ehis Osajie (17 August 2009). "ICPC Probes N90 Billion Pension Fraud". Vanguard. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  25. ^ Alexandra Mede (7 September 2009). "ICPC Quizzes Ex-Permanent Secretary, Director Over N1 Billion Education Fund". Daily Independent (Lagos). Retrieved 16 May 2010.
  26. ^ "Status of Criminal and Civil Cases as at March 2015". Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission. 7 April 2015.
  27. ^ "Nigerian Politicians are Thieves, But They are Not Corrupt". Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  28. ^ "Nigerian Politicians are Thieves, But They are Not Corrupt".

External links edit