THE Federal Government on Tuesday said it is the belief of President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to ensure sanity in the nation’s polity, hence the need to ensure that those enrich themselves corruptly with public funds are sent to jail to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami stated this in Abuja at the opening ceremony of 2nd Annual International Forensic Conference/Induction of new members of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN), with the theme: “The Paradigm of Forensic and Investigative Audit in Changing The Landscape of Fraud and Corruption.”
He said the president, through the former’s office, had introduced a number of measures aimed at preventing culprits of corruption from using money or property obtained through corrupt means.
Mr. Malami affirmed that measures have yielded a number of positive results particularly in the recovery of proceeds of crime running into billions of naira through the whistleblower policy.
The minister, who assured that such measures would be strengthened to achieve the desired objective, therefore said CIFIAN has a great role to play in building capacity for prosecutors, expert witnesses, police investigators, lawyers and others involved in the gathering and use of evidence relating to fraud and financial crime.
According to him, it is the belief of the Buhari administration that those who corruptly enrich themselves with public funds should not only be denied the benefits of the proceeds their corrupt practices but should be tried in court and where found guilty should be jailed to serve as a deterrent to others.
In his goodwill message, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, whose speech was read by Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office, Office of the SGF, Mrs. Amina Shamaki, lamented that fraudsters had gone sophisticated and in some instances, taken advantages of the 21st digital revolution to perpetrate fraud that was undetectable by auditing.
According to him, the 21st-century technology revolution has further created new methods and ease to perpetuate corruption in all its ramifications and in almost all spheres of endeavour.
“This new ease has made fraud cases difficult to detect by the police, investigators and auditors unskilled in forensic and investigative auditing,” he added.
Mr. Mustapha said this had posed a major challenge to Nigeria’s war against corruption, being waged with great vigour and determination by the administration of President Buhari.
He, therefore, assured of government’s commitment, support and partnership towards strengthening existing anti-fraud mechanisms in Nigeria.
In her welcome address, the Protem President of CIFIAN, Dr. (Mrs.) Victoria Ayeshetu Enape, said the emergence of forensic and investigative auditing on the global scene was based on the realization that fraudsters have gone sophisticated and in some instances were taking advantage of the 21st digital revolution to perpetrate financial crimes that are undetectable by conventional auditing approach.
She said if Nigeria must take progress her prevention and fight against financial fraud, Nigerians must urgently embrace this global paradigm shift to forensic and investigative auditing which has proven to be most effective in mining evidence for prosecution of financial crimes.