Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
The Independent Corrupt Practice and Related Offences Commission has urged the federal government to adopt the strategy of asset recovery and return to the source as one of the cardinal point in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The ICPC Chairman Professor Bolaji Owasanoye who stated this on Thursday during the 2019 African Union (AU) Anti-corruption day held in Lokoja, said the negative impact of corruption on the continent’s economic development was obvious , stressing that the worst affected victims of corruption remain the vulnerable poor and the marginalised individuals.
According to him, since the proceeds of crime ends in Asset stashed mostly abroad, it is germane that Nigeria should adopt the strategy of asset recovery to tackle the menace of corruption in the society.
Owasanoye who was represented by Mr Chile Patrick Ogwuegbu, the state Comissioner in charge Kogi state office, the ICPC Chairman not d that the new policy focus of the commission was to ensure effective utilization of budgetary allocations to social welfare and human development
“This policy will lead to improvement in social indicators, human development index, attainment of SDG and a more favourable corruption perception for Nigeria.
“On the other hand , the commission intends to use provisions of it’s law , especially on non conviction based asset forfeiture to deny corrupt persons use of whatever they have stolen from Nigeria people and make more resources available for development.
“The commission presently tracking the execution of constituency capital projects across the country so as to ensure that the projects are properly executed and delivered to the communities they were meant for” he said.
The ICPC Chairman who pointed out that investigation is also being conducted on tax fraud , illicit financial flow and money laundering to prosecute offenders , noted that as a body effort geared toward recovery of identified stolen wealth would be transformational for the nation.
“Millions of Nigerians suffering denial of basic social services and lack of infrastructure such as hospitals, schools water and employment will receive succour when stolen assets are recovered from looters” he added.
The Kogi state Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA) Ambassador Mohammed Abdullahi described corruption as war that all Nigerians must fight to the end irrespective of tribe and religion.
He called on the federal and state government to do the needful through the implementation of some policies that can curb corruption, saying the menace is truly showing on the poor standard of living of Nigerian .
The ICPC officials, religion bodies, students , civil society organisations, media, security agents and Youth Corp members as part of the activities to mark the 2019 anti-corruption day walked from Muslims community school , Lokongoma to the Commission’s office which covered four kilometers.