Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to investigate public officials for false asset declaration. The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, has unveiled plans to work with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to ensure that public officials who gave false information on their assets under oath are identified and sanctioned.
Making this known yesterday in Abuja, he added that the commission had concluded plans to investigate those who mismanaged resources allocated for the development of the education sector and have denied institutions the required operational capacity to impart knowledge to students nationwide.
In order to circumvent the system, it is suspected that many public office holders falsely declare assets that they do not own in anticipation of the wealth they would accumulate illicitly during their stay in office.
The commission's spokesman, Mr. Folu Olamiti, who said that Nta made the disclosure in a television interview in Abuja, pointed out that the measures are part of the ongoing collaboration with CCB and other agencies to synergise their capacity in the anti-graft war using a collective approach.
The chairman described public officials who provide false information about their property and other assets under oath as ignorant of the legal ramifications of such action.
He said the commission would work on information availed it by CCB to determine the veracity or otherwise of such claims and prosecute any officer found to have made false declarations.
He said the commission was adopting a new approach in the fight against corruption by focusing on the root causes of anti-social behaviour among the people, using the education sector as the platform for driving the new initiatives.
He said: "Part of the collaboration we are embarking on with the CCB is that where we believe that some of the declarations are not what they should be, it will send them to us to help them do the leg work."
On the planned investigation of those who manage resources of agencies in the education sector, the anti-corruption boss said steps were being taken to identify any form of infractions that would create a situation where monies meant for education would not get to the primary sources.
He said the war is also going to include collaboration with the National Universities Commission (NUC), such that reports of many of the visitation panels on universities would be looked into by the ICPC so that their recommendations are implemented.
He expressed concern over the delayed implementation of those reports, pointing out that leaving the findings unimplemented might encourage others who are inclined to commit similar infractions to do so with impunity.
According to him, NUC had provided it with reports of visitation panels in respect of all the universities and the commission would review all the reports.
By Dele Ogbodo