….condemn alleged malicious attacks on leadership of NASS
By Gabriel Ewepu
THE Coalition of Civil Society Groups Against Corruption in Public Service, Monday, hailed the National Assembly over passage of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria Bill into law.
This was contained in a letter dated May 27, 2021, and addressed to the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, where the Coalition described passage of the CIFIPN Bill into by the Senate and House of Representatives as historic and major boost in the fight against all forms of corruption at all levels of governance.
The letter reads in part, “The National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Tuesday 2nd March, 2021 and Wednesday 19th May, 2021 at the Plenary Sittings of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively made history by passing into law, the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria Bill, 2021, after it was read for the Third Time in the two Chambers (SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES).
“This is in line with the principle and practice of bi-cameral Legislature as being operated in Nigeria. The passage of this Bill is a clear demonstration of the lawmakers’ patriotism and direct response, targeted at strengthening and re-invigorating national frontiers in the fight against fraud, corruption and cybercrimes in Nigeria.
“With the passage of this Bill, the 9th National Assembly under the distinguished and able leadership of His Excellency, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D, CON and Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiala has shown clearly, its ardent resolve to carry out its legislative functions in line with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This also attests to the fact that the National Assembly is alive to the performance of its complementary role(s) with other arms of Government in the fight against corruption. We applaud the leadership of the National Assembly, and congratulates Nigerians.
“We are happy about the passage into law of the Bill to establish CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATIVE PROFESSIONALS OF NIGERIA 2021, and encourage the National Assembly to ignore all the petitions sponsored by ICAN and its cohorts against by non-existence civil society organizations and people who have no interest of Nigeria at heart.
“Besides, you don’t expect to be praised by corrupt Nigerians who do not like to stop their wrong doings. Nigeria National Assembly Leadership deserve an award for the credible work done to ensure that Nigeria is armed with the use of forensic for administration of justice and prosecution of corrupt personalities in Nigeria.
“Many cases and high profile cases of fraud are mostly thrown out of court for lack of evidence, because of the lack of forensic professionals in Nigeria. It is a unique field which is all encompassing. Forensic cannot be completed without Criminologists, Lawyers, Sociologist, Information Technologist, Security expert, digital etc.
“Whoever that understands what the National Assembly has done will rather applaud them and organize awards for them, because they have laid a solid foundation for our children yet unborn, whose futures would have been jeopardised without this bold steps taken by NASS. May the almighty God bless 8th Assembly and posterity will definitely remember them.”
However, the coalition in the letter also condemned alleged malicious attacks on leadership of NASS, “Fighting Corruption is Dangerous” , promoters of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN) Bill and members of the National Assembly as we observed can now attest to the danger of fighting corruption in Nigeria as they have recently come under sustained disparaging publications intended to dissuade supporters of the Bill and frustrate the passage of the CIFIPN Bill -an impactful piece of legislation intended to provide the legal framework for capacity building and professional development of forensic and investigative professionals in Nigeria equipped with modern forensic and investigative techniques in order to effectively wage the war against corruption in the country.
The Coalition in the letter also accused the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, and alleged that, “This latest opposition against the passage of the CIFPN Bill including malicious publications in the media against the promoters of the Bill and members of the National Assembly is orchestrated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and other mushroom and non-existing civil society organizations hitherto unknown in civil society circles but have been become visible and vicious since the passage of the CIFPN Bill, no thanks to ICAN’s disguised yet formidable support.
“The ordeal of promoters and supporters of the CIFPN Bill in the hands of opponents and those who prefer things to be business as usual is enough proof that fighting corruption in Nigeria is very dangerous and further gives credence to the cliché that corruption will always fight back!”
In conclusion, the Coalition in the letter added that, “As an international forensic institution that is committed to the growth and expansion of forensic education and practice across the globe, we would like to use this opportunity to commend the two chambers of the Nigerian parliament – the National Assembly for giving the CIFIPN Bill, 2021 the attention it deserves.
“Since its emergence, we are aware that CIFIPN has impacted positively on the ongoing war against corruption in Nigeria through training and impartation of requisite skills to its members and other investigators from various Government departments and the testimonies have been very encouraging.
“We also urge the leadership of CIFIPN to remain focused in attaining its overall motivation of ensuring that prosecutors and investigators in Nigeria are in position to effectively take advantage of modern forensic and investigative techniques to win the war against corruption. We further urge you to remain undaunted in the pursuit of this noble objective against all odds.”