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Stakeholders throw weight behind bill to establish Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria

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Amid stiff opposition by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Bill seeking establishment
Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria has received the nod of stakeholders.

In line with the dynamics of the society, government stakeholders reasoned that the proposed Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria when passed into law would play a critical role in proactive steps to stopping fraudulent incidences in Nigeria.

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This is even as ICAN is insisting on monopolistic stance on fraud detection and examination responsibilities.

Speaking at the public hearing organised on the Bill, Thursday, at the National Assembly, Abuja, 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 seeking to establish the Institute to deal with various crimes, offences and all manner of professional and social misgivings requiring in-depth investigations to turn in trusted results. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The organisations, took time to address some of what they considered grey areas in the sections of the proposed Act that, in their separate opinions, require changes.

On the contrary, however, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), represented by Dr. Innocent Okwuosa, a 2nd Vice President of the Institute, maintained that what the bill on the Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners was seeking to achieve was already being practised by ICAN and other agencies of government like the Police, the EFCC, the ICPC and other such professional bodies whose corporate mandates and roles, he believed, would be threatened if the bill in question was passed into law.

He added the bill also sought to criminalise other practitioners of forensics and posited that, ANAN was alongside ICAN, opposing the passage of the Forensic Institute Bill.

This position was, however, refuted by the ANAN Registrar/ CEO, Nurudeen Abdullahi, in the presentation that came after that of the ICAN representative.

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 ten years through which it has made appreciable impact for outstanding professionalism and diversity of specialisations, its 2nd 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.

Also speaking in support of the proposed Institute, its President and Chairman of Council, Iliyasu Gashinbaki, called for stakeholders’ support for the bill, which he said had gone past the first and second readings in the House of Representatives before getting to the crucial stage of Public Hearing.

He told the audience that the multi-disciplinary outlook of the Institute was one that offered the nation an alternative to travelling to other sister African countries and elsewhere and spending scarce resources to source solutions on forensic challenges in different fields.

Earlier in his remarks, the sponsor of the bill, Rt. Hon.Yusuf Buba Yakub, said the bill for which the public hearing was being held was one that, “answers the clarion call on each of us to be a veritable gate-keeper 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 wrong-doing”.

Continuing the Gombi/Hong, Adamawa State Rep, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, added: “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”, the lawmaker observed.

While declaring that the proposed Institute when established would constitute no new burden on Government, Buba informed that its activities would be run and driven by contributions and subscriptions of its members and benefactors.

He also added that, apart from providing for the regulation and control of the Institute’s membership, the bill when passed into law would also promote the profesional practice of fraud examination and forensics in Nigeria and complement, in that regard, the efforts of the nation’s law- enforcement/prosecuting agencies such as the EFCC, ICPC, NFIU and the Police.

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