METRO/CRIME

I’ll Appear In Court To Prosecute Corruption Cases- ICPC Chairman 

 

 

 

By Okunade Kehinde

To demonstrate his determination to fight the menace of corruption in the country, Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Musa Aliyu (SAN), declared yesterday that he would personally appear in court to prosecute fraud cases if necessary.

Aliyu made the assertion in Abuja at his first media parley since assumption of office as ICPC chairman. He said events of the last 72 hours showed President Bola Tinubu was ready to fight corruption, and vowed to lead the fight against sleaze from the front.

The ICPC head affirmed his determination to adopt innovative approaches to fighting graft, including digitalising the commission.

Aliyu stated, “I will lead from the front and in the area of prosecution, by the grace of God, I intend to be appearing in cases. I feel as chairman of the commission, I should lead from the front.

“Whenever we have cases and we feel I need to take the lead, I will do so to ensure that we fulfil our mandate. I don’t think there has ever been an ICPC chairman, who has appeared in court. I will be the first.”

He said he would lay emphasis on the use of technology in the fight against corruption by digitalising ICPC operations in order to make the agency more efficient.

On adoption of technology in the fight against corruption, Aliyu said, “Innovation is key in our ongoing battle against corruption. We are in an era, where technology has revolutionised the way we live and work.

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“As such, the ICPC is committed to integrating innovative approaches and cutting-edge technology into our operational framework.

“From leveraging data analytics for efficient resource management to employing advanced digital tools for effective corruption detection, technology will be at the forefront of our strategies.”

Aliyu stated that he would collaborate with other anti-graft agencies and other stakeholders, like the media, civil society, the private sector, and international partners to pool perspectives, expertise, and resources in the fight against corruption.

He said, “The fight against corruption demands a collaborative, multi-sectoral approach, transcending the capabilities of any single entity.

“As the new chairman of the ICPC, a key focus of my tenure will be to foster such collaboration, recognising that corruption’s multifaceted nature affects every level of society. Our strategy involves engaging diverse stakeholders.”

Responding to questions on what he would do differently from his predecessors, he said he would ensure improved interagency collaboration.

According to Aliyu, “My predecessors tried. I will look at what they did and improve upon it. My focus will be technology. I will ensure that the ICPC is digitalised. I want to mobilise the youth to join the fight against corruption.

“I want to ensure inter-agency collaboration. You saw what happened yesterday (visit to EFCC chair). In terms of corruption, I want to be appearing in cases.

“Where we need to appear, I will take the lead. I don’t think there is any ICPC chair, who appeared in court. I also want to make a mark as the chair, who deployed technology in a unique way.”

Aliyu stated further, “My focus will be enforcement prevention and public enlightenment and education. I want to engage Nigerian law school. They produce 5, 000 lawyers yearly and lawyers are very critical in the fight against corruption. I will engage them.”

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He pledged to improve law enforcement, saying, “In my opinion, we need to discharge our mandate and for what is right. We try as much as possible to improve in the area of law enforcement and do what is right.”

Aliyu said collaboration was key in the area of manpower development in aid of the anti-corruption fight.

“I was in EFCC yesterday because we need to work together. Once we can collaborate we can solve the manpower issues,” he said.

He also expressed his determination to engage rural Nigerians, saying, “We will use radio and social media to reach the rural areas.”

On whether he would have the courage to probe the powers that be, Aliyu said events of the last 72 hours had said so.

“You have seen what happened in the last 72 hours. Mr President is ready to fight corruption,” he said.

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