ICPC Disputes Misleading Vanguard Newspaper Headline, Highlights Significant Anti-Corruption Achievements

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) condemns the inaccurate depiction presented by the Vanguard newspaper in its weekend edition dated Saturday, 13th April 2024, with the headline “ICPC Toothless Bulldog.”

Contrary to the sensational headline, the ICPC wishes to reaffirm its robust efforts in combating corruption across Nigeria. The Commission is actively pursuing numerous cases in various states of the Federation, exemplifying its unwavering commitment to upholding integrity and accountability.

Among the on-going legal proceedings is a notable 22-million-naira contract scam currently under litigation at the Federal High Court in Makurdi, Benue State, emphasizing the ICPC’s proactive approach to addressing corruption at all levels of society. Additionally, cases are being pursued in federal high courts located in Abuja, Plateau, Katsina, Kaduna, Jigawa, Bauchi, and Nasarawa States, demonstrating the breadth and depth of ICPC’s operations.

As Nigeria’s foremost anti-corruption agency, the ICPC operates with integrity. Transparency and accountability are her watchwords, ensuring unfettered access for the media to its operational activities. Therefore, it is regrettable that Vanguard Newspaper published unsubstantiated claims without verifying facts with the ICPC or checking with any courts of record.

For avoidance of doubts, the ICPC has conducted thorough investigations into alleged infractions by members of the political class, including Senators and members of the House of Representatives, especially regarding the execution of FG funded constituency projects, with a view to fostering accountability and ethical conduct in public service.

The Commission urges media organizations to adhere to professional journalistic standards by verifying information before dissemination.

The hard truth, from available facts is that, because the clear objectives of the tracking exercise were to ensure proper execution of government funded projects, value for money on projects, and prosecution of egregious cases of infractions, certain public officials are being prosecuted across the states and quite a number of staff of MDAs are also on suspension or interdiction for issues bordering on project infractions, even as a very large number of contractors (more than 200) over the last 5 phases of our projects tracking, have been compelled to return to complete long abandoned projects. Also, recoveries in cash and assets between 2019-2022 are in billions of naira.

For sure, ICPC will enforce the law with integrity but will not succumb to engaging in media trials or undue entertainment of any type.

In the interest of our “common sense” anti-corruption crusade, ICPC will always strive to get public projects delivered to the people, in the right quality and for the right”value for money”, so as to change the daily experiences of the average Nigerians about governance. For the Commission, this is the essence of effective anti-corruption campaign.

In due course, the Honourable Chairman of the Commission will be addressing the media to provide more insights into ICPC’s operational activities regarding its numerous anti-corruption initiatives. It should be noted that the results of Phase 6 of ICPC projects tracking/CEPTi, which is larger in value than the last 5 phases combined, is ready with detailed analysis of the 2024 Budget indicating discoveries such as budget duplications, inserted projects etc

Finally, the ICPC is using this medium to set the record straight, emphasizing its substantial contributions to delivering good governance, prompting beneficial public ethics and recovering several trillions of Naira into the Federal Government’s coffers.