A harder time awaits fraudsters as the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, has unveiled plans to work with the Code of Conduct Bureau CCB to ensure that public officials who gave false information on their assets on oath are identified, sanctioned and prosecuted.
Also the Commission is set to investigate those who mismanaged resources allocated for educational development and denied the institutions the required operational capacity to impact knowledge on the students.
ICPC Chairman, Mr Ekpo Nta, who spoke in an interview on Africa Independent Television (AIT) in Abuja said the move was one of the major fallouts of ongoing collaboration with CCB and other agencies at synergising their capacities in the anti-graft war through collective approach.
Mr Nta, described those providing false information about their property and others assets under oath as ignorant of the legal implications of such actions. He said the Commission would work on information availed it by the Bureau to determine the veracity or otherwise of such claims and prosecute any officer found to have made false declarations.
The ICPC boss said the Commission was adopting a new approach in the fight against corruption by focusing on the root causes of anti-social behaviour among the people, using the education sector as the platform for driving the new initiatives.
“Part of the collaboration we are doing with the CCB is that where we believe that some of the declarations are not what they are, it will send them to us to help it do the leg work and I would like to tell you that every investigation we carry out that relates to a public officer as defined by the constitution, the first thing we do is to ask for his forms from the CCB to find out what he filled there. So, for those who are doing anticipatory filling, it is matter of time and as a matter of fact, they might actually be building houses for other people because they might not put their names but put in other people’s names and when they get out of office, move to reclaim those properties and they refuse, are they coming to law enforcement to help them enforce recovery of such houses?”, Nta asked.
On the planned investigation of those who manage resources of agencies in the education sector, the anti-corruption crusader said the step was being embarked upon to identify any form of infractions that would create a situation where monies meant for education would not get to the primary sources. He said the war was also going to include collaboration with the National Universities Commission such that reports of many of the visitation panels on universities would be looked into by the ICPC so that their recommendations could be implemented.
He expressed concern over delayed implementation of those reports, pointing out that leaving the findings unimplemented might encourage others who are inclined to commit similar infractions to do so with impunity with the belief that nothing would happen to them.
Mr Nta disclosed that based on request, the NUC had provided it with past reports of visitation panels in respect of all the universities and that the Commission would
look at all those reports.