Magnus Eze, Enugu
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said that it would soon begin to recover assets of corrupt persons.
Chairman of the commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye said they were poised to use the provisions of the ICPC Act, especially as it concerns non-conviction based asset forfeiture, to deny corrupt persons use of whatever they had stolen from the public coffers.
In a keynote delivered: “The opportunity cost of corruption and the value of asset recovery” to commemorate the 2019 African Union Anti-corruption Day celebrations in Enugu, yesterday, he noted that such move will make more resources available for development.
Represented by the state commissioner of ICPC, Mr. Amedu Sule, the ICPC boss disclosed that the new policy focus of the body was to ensure effective utilisation of budgetary allocations to social welfare and human development in order to improve social indicators, human development index, attainment of the social development goals and enhance the nation’s corruption perception.
Calling for attitudinal change towards corruption, he said: “When N10 million is stolen from public coffers or misappropriated from the local government, 20 boreholes meant to provide potable water to the local people are never dug, the corrupt officials and their collaborators in turn smile to the banks at the expense of the majority.
“It is, therefore, our belief as a body that efforts geared toward recovery of identified stolen wealth would be transformational for our nation. Millions of Nigerians suffering denial of basic social services and lack of infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, water and employment will receive succour when stolen assets are recovered from looters.”
Justifying the importance of this year’s theme to the fight against corruption, Owasanoye urged that asset recovery and return to source be adopted as a national strategy.
Accountant General of Enugu State, Paschal Okorie, said government was committed to fighting corruption through accountability, due process and various reforms aimed at reducing corruption in the system.