…bill duplicating ICAN functions-Oda
…allegation that bill was cloned unfounded- Rep. Yakub
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Bill seeking the establishment of Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria has received the support of the stakeholders.
Speaking at the public hearing on the Bill by the House of Representatives, representatives of various public and private- sector organisations, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria( ANAN), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit ( NFIU) as well as the Nigeria Deposit and Insurance Corporation (NDIC), expressed support for the Bill.
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When established, the Institute will deal with various crimes, offences and all manner of professional and social misgivings requiring in-depth investigations.
But taking a different route, the representative of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Dr. Osawate Oda, who is First Deputy President of the Institute stated that what the Bill on the Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners was seeking to achieve was already being practiced by their own Organisation and other Agencies of Government like the Police, the EFCC, the ICPC and other such professional bodies.
He argued that the corporate mandates and roles of the organization would be threatened if the Bill was passed into law.
His position that ANAN was opposing the passage of the Forensic Institute Bill alongside ICAN was however refuted by the ANAN Registrar/ CEO at the hearing.
While urging stakeholders to take a deeper look at the Bill seeking to give a legal backbone to the Institute which has been in operation in the last 10 years through which it has made an appreciable impact for outstanding professionalism and diversity of specialisations, its Second Deputy President, Professor Suleiman Aruwa said the nation would lose so much if it failed to harness the benefits of the multi-disciplinary outlook of the Institute.
He expressed surprise that ICAN which only has Accountancy as its main competency and pre-occupation would choose to challenge the right to existence of a body that has chosen to carry out the application of forensics on diverse areas of endeavour.
Similarly, the President and Chairman of Council of the proposed Institute, Iliyasu Gashinbaki called for stakeholders’ support for the Bill, saying that the multi-disciplinary outlook of the Institute was one that offered the nation an alternative to travelling to other sister African countries for solutions on forensic challenges in different fields.
Earlier in his remarks, the sponsor of the Bill, Hon.Yusuf Buba Yakub said the Bill was one that “answers the clarion call on each of us to be a veritable gatekeeper and whistle-blower in order to preserve our nation beyond the greed, incompetence, slothfulness, negligence of duty and, of course, the usual mischief of some of our fellow Nigerians, whose failures, often resulting from mischief or poor approach to official duties and tasks, leave the nation at the mercy of their ineptitude or calculated wrongdoing”.
The lawmaker representing Gombi/ Hong of Adamawa State who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, added that the “This Bill seeks to, therefore, add serious impetus to the manner in which we fight the social malaise of our society, like crime in its entire ramifications, including official malfeasance, sleaze, internet frauds and the like. Many things would change in society if people knew that no matter how smart they feel they can be in their doings, the torch of forensics on their acts will, eventually, give them away”.
Addressing the Press later, Hon. Yakub cleared the air on alleged cloning of the bill.
A certain group had alleged at the hearing that the bill was a cloned version of theirs in the 8th assembly which they said failed to fly.
But Yakub said both bills were different in word and structure.
While declaring open the public hearing, Speaker of the House, Hon.Femi Gbajabiamala, who was represented by the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Peter Akpatason called on all stakeholders to participate and realise the goal of checking fraud in Nigeria in line with the mindset of the Buhari administration and the spirit of the Speaker’s Legislative Agenda.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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