The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) North Central Zonal Commissioner, Mr. Patrick Ogwuegbu has stressed the need to lay emphasis on corruption prevention in order to minimize the scourge in Nigeria.
The Zonal Commissioner, represented by Alhaji Yahaya Ali of Asset Tracing and Recovery Management (ATRM) Unit of the Commission, said this at a one-day sensitization workshop for staff of Kogi State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; and the Budget and Planning Office.
Mr. Ogwuegbu informed the participants that it was in furtherance of prevention that the workshop was organized. It had the purpose of re-orienting and equipping staff of the ministries with required skills to identify and tackle corruption issues in their various offices, adding that the Commission has a three- pronged mandate of enforcement, prevention and mobilization/education of members of the public against corrupt practices.
In his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Engr. Abubakar Ohere, lauded the effort of ICPC in embarking on the sensitization, noting that the workshop would put the participants on their toes in respect of integrity, accountability and transparency while performing their official duties.
According to Ohere, the state government had given full autonomy to Administrators of local governments to operate, not only on finance-related matters, but also on general administration.
The Special Adviser then called on ICPC to organize similar workshops for local governments in the state in order to get the grassroots acquainted with the demands of the fight against corruption.
Also speaking at the event, the State Commissioner, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Hon. Paul Z. Maiwada, represented by the Permanent Secretary, A .F. Ejims, said that ICPC had acted “profoundly” by bringing the anti-corruption message to the people and that the workshop was the first of its kind in the state.
In his paper titled: “An Overview of Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and Other Integrity Laws in Nigeria”, Mr. Suberu Abdulhakeem, also of ICPC, explained the duties of the Commission as spelt out in section 6(a-f) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
He further enumerated the offences which are punishable by the law establishing the Commission among which are: accepting gratification by an officer, giving or accepting gratification through an agent, corrupt demands by persons, fraudulent acquisition of property, deliberate frustration of investigation by the Commission, using office or position to gratify or confer unfair advantage on oneself, relation or associate and more.