The Anti- Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU), was established by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as one of the implementation mechanisms for its Mandate on prohibition and prevention of corruption especially in the Public Service. Anti-Corruption Units are established in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government and operate as autonomous outfits with functional linkages with the office of the Chief Executives of the MDAs.
For the purpose of exercising its power of System Study and Review in Section 6 (b)-(d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 (ICPC ACT, 2000), the Commission made a request to the Executive Arm of Government to establish ACTU in all Ministries and other Government establishments. The approved request was followed by a Directive from the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSOF) through a Circular, Ref. No. OHCSF/MSO/192/94, dated 2nd October, 2001. Funding for the Unit is to be provided by the respective MDAs, as contained in another Circular, Ref. No. OE/MS/MSO/196/S.1/7, dated 16th April 2003, from the OHCSOF.
ACTU derives its mandate from Section 7(1) and Section 70 of the ICPC Act, 2000. The ACTU is to perform all duties detailed in Section 6(a) – (f) of the ICPC Act, 2000, except that of prosecution. In a nutshell, this involves:
While it is the duty of Managements of the MDAs to ensure that ACTUs are fully established and supported to carry out their assigned duties, all members of staff are also required to cooperate with the Unit to achieve a corruption free organization.
By 2003, the Units were established in five (5) MDAs; and by 2008, two hundred and fifty five units (255) were in operation, with considerable growth experienced over the years. The current number of ACTUs as at July 2015 has risen to as many as four hundred and twenty-six (426) in the Federal MDAs.