Lack of forensic expertise, bane of anti-graft war, say experts

Lack of forensic expertise, bane of anti-graft war, say experts

Stakeholders have identified shortage of forensic facilities and expertise as major setbacks in Nigeria’s fight against corruption and illicit financial flows. The stakeholders, including accountants, auditors and financial crime investigators, gave their verdict at the end of a four-day international workshop on forensic investigation in New Jersey, United States, at the weekend. Speaking to the


Stakeholders have identified shortage of forensic facilities and expertise as major setbacks in Nigeria’s fight against corruption and illicit financial flows.

The stakeholders, including accountants, auditors and financial crime investigators, gave their verdict at the end of a four-day international workshop on forensic investigation in New Jersey, United States, at the weekend.

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the workshop, the participants called for the development of local capacity in forensic to effectively tackle graft in the country.

The event was organised by the United States (U.S.)-based International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals (IICFIP), in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigation Professionals (CIFIPN) of Nigeria.

Dr. Friday Wada, one of the resource persons, said forensic expertise was critical in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of financial crimes as well as tracing and recovery of stolen assets.

Wada, a U.S.-based forensic accountant, stated that many corruption cases instituted by anti-graft agencies were failing in court due to lack of forensic evidence.

Urging local infrastructure and manpower development in the field, he advised law enforcement bodies to engage professional forensic accountants and auditors in their work.

Another participant, Prof. Silas Lamela, said the anti-corruption crusade of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration needed the support of professional forensic investigators to succeed.

ALSO READ:  Wealth creation: NCC lists opportunities for 40m entrepreneurs

The professor said: “This programme is an opportunity for us to acquire the requisite knowledge and skills to deploy ourselves in the fight against corruption.

“We all are stakeholders in the Nigerian project, and we have a role to play to curb this devil called corruption”.

Lamela, who is the immediate past Director of Finance and Accountants in the Federal Ministry of Finance, called for a conducive environment for the forensic investigation practice in the country.

This, according to him, includes the enactment of the proposed Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigation Professionals in Nigeria Act.

Mr. Gabriel Iorsase, a Lagos-based chartered forensic investigator, said the country was currently spending so much in importing experts to address corruption issues.

Iorsase noted that such resources could better be used to develop the practice in Nigeria.

He said he and the other participants hoped to domesticate the knowledge and skills acquired at the workshop to save the country foreign exchange.

Dr Mannixs Paul, the Chief Executive Officer of IICFIP (USA and Canada Operations), said for Nigeria to defeat corruption, it must migrate from traditional to digital methods of financial crime investigation.

He said “We cannot continue in the old ways of doing business; we have to join the rest of the world in forensic investigation to effectively tackle corruption.

ALSO READ:  Osun Governorship election: Supreme court to hear Adeleke’s appeal today

“What we are doing is to share knowledge on how to move forward, and we have many professionals from across the globe to share knowledge that we can use for the common good of society”.

Dr Victoria Enape, the protem President of CIFIPN, said financial crimes had gone hi-tech, hence the need for the training to equip local investigators with knowledge and skills to be ahead of criminals.

The workshop, held at the New Jersey Campus of the University of Phoenix, featured forensic accounting, auditing and investigation techniques; cyber security; intelligence management; detection and deterrence of white-collar crimes, among others.

PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
editor
AUTHOR
PROFILE

Posts Carousel

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Latest Posts

Top Authors

Most Commented

Featured Videos

ALSO READ:  Osun Governorship election: Supreme court to hear Adeleke’s appeal today
Thenewspad

FREE
VIEW