BY Chioma Onuegbu
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Akwa Ibom State, has lamented that legal battle between it and state government was frustrating prosecution of many petitions in the state.
State Commissioner of ICPC, Mr. Sola Shodipo said this in Uyo yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen at World Anti-Corruption Day, 2019, tagged: “United Against Corruption”
Shodipo who was represented by the Head of legal services, Mr Kalu Ugbo, however, urged Akwa Ibom people not to relent submitting their petitions to the Commission and assured that soon the state would begin to feel its impact.
“The State Government took ICPC to court and we have been in the court for the past four to five years now. There were people we invited but before you know it, the Attorney General of the state ran to court, first to state High Court at Ikot Ekpene, the matter was struck out.
“From state high court Ikot Ekpene to Federal high court Uyo to Appeal court Calabar. The matter is still pending. So that is the predicament that ICPC is facing now.
” We have so many petitions against so many people in Akwa Ibom State but we cannot try them because of the pending legal battle. And if you do anything in contrary, that will amount to contempt of court. That is why it looks as if nobody has been prosecuted in Akwa Ibom.
“Because of the pending legal battle people have not felt the legal battle the people of Akwa Ibom have not felt the impact of ICPC. If you are being taken to court you cannot do anything on that matter until the case is determined or resolved in court.
“There is need for the establishment of anti-corruption court that will take charge of all criminal cases against corrupt practices as obtained in any other part of the world”, he said.