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New surveillance measures to stifle corruption

31 December 2013, 14:27Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said it would place people it suspected of corruption under surveillance.

Speaking at a forum in Lagos, Chairman of the commission,  Ekpo Nta said part of the surveillance measures would include close monitoring of the bank accounts and transactions of suspects, as well as keeping tabs on their telephone call logs.

Nta said that the measure would go a long way in reducing time spent on investigation, as well as in curbing the prevalence of corruption among local Nigerian politicians, government officials and businesspeople.

“We have cut down investigation time, because we have insisted on doing more of surveillance before striking, so as to reduce time spent on trying to get answers from a suspect. With this new approach, admission level to corrupt practices is higher, because what we now do is to present to the suspect the evidence we have already discovered,” he said.

Nta revealed that the Asset Tracing and Monitoring Unit of the commission had been enhanced to ensure that the commission’s power on assets’ seizure was exercised.

He said culprits convicted of corruption would not be allowed “to enjoy their stolen wealth after serving their jail terms.”

“To every investigation that we do, there is an element of assets tracing and monitoring, because my attitude is that we cannot stop corruption if we do not seize the proceeds of crimes. Somebody takes money and builds a house, gets arrested and spends three months in jail or a fine in the alternative and goes back and enjoys the property. My new approach is that, since the money cannot be retrieved, I can trace it to the house built, to ensure that the person has no right to enjoy the facility,” the ICPC chairman said.

ICPC was inaugurated in 2000 at the recommendation of then-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Its mandate is to receive and investigate reports of corruption.

– CAJ News


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