By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- THE Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Auditors in Nigeria, CIFIA, at the weekend, hit back at the Institute of Charted Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, over allegations and moves to stop passage of CIFIA Bill into law by the National Assembly.
This was stated by the President, CIFIA, Dr Victoria Enape, while reacting to statements made by ICAN, which alleged that CIFIA was a family business and amounted to proliferation of bodies, therefore disparaging the Senate for passing the bill said was baseless.
Enape and other members of CIFIA also described ICAN’s recent statement in the media as mischief and misinformation being propagated against CIFIA on the heels of the passage of the CIFIA Bill by the Senate awaiting concurrence by the House of Representatives.
She also explained that Clause 4 of the CIFIA Bill passed by the Senate provided for the election, qualification and tenure of the President, Vice President, and other officials of the CIFIA, and nowhere was it provided that the above offices were hereditary or based on blood ties to any family.
She said: “Promoters of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors, CIFIA, have expressed dismay over ceaseless propaganda and display of ignorance by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) on the roles and essence of CIFIA.
“ICAN had in a recent briefing with newsmen alleged among other things that CIFIA was a family business and amounted to proliferation of bodies. ICAN was disparaging the Senate by its campaign of calumny and hostility on a Bill meritoriously passed by the upper chamber.
“Having gone through the mischievous and malicious publications of ICAN, we found out their ignorance in all ramifications.
“ICAN was referring to the CIFIA, but in the real sense, ICAN was confusing themselves by describing something else and not the CIFIA Bill that was passed by the senate. This is because ICAN’s allegation lack merit as it is not in line with the contents of the CIFIA Bill at all.
“ICAN said they have public interest mandate to discourage and resist dilution of professional standards and quality. Therefore CIFIA Bill that was already passed by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be discarded to safeguard the integrity of their noble profession. WOW! What a wonderful quotation?
“It is unfortunate that ICAN does not even know its boundary as a non- government agency. ICAN has conferred on itself power to direct the distinguished Senate and the House of Representatives of the federal Republic of Nigeria on how to discharge their constitutional duties.”
She also refuted claim by ICAN that the functions and responsibilities in the CIFIA Bill was contained in its Act of 1965, which promoters of the CIFIA bill said forensic auditing or accounting was not in existence globally as at 1965 when the law establishing ICAN was enacted.
“If ICAN members have been practicing Forensic Accounting and Auditing according to them, one may be compelled to ask them the basis of that since it is not contained in their enabling ACT of 1965. Besides, why has Nigerian government heavily depended on expatriate forensic auditors over the years? Therefore, ICAN’s claim is baseless and untrue and therefore be disregarded by the general public”, she stated.
She added that no provision in the Public Service Rules or the Companies and Allied Matters Act that prohibit participation of civil servants in professional associations such as CIFIA either as trustees or principal promoters as ICAN accused her as staff in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation has been a promoter of the CIFIA bill.
“We expected ICAN as a professional body to join hands with CIFIA to sanitise Nigerian economy instead of engaging in cheap politics and indiscriminate criticism of what we are doing to move the country forward in this fight against corruption”, she said.