ICPC Boss Seeks Nigeria Police Collaboration To Fight Corruption
The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye has stressed the importance of collaboration among anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to help stem the tide of corruption in the country.
He made this call in his speech during a courtesy visit the Board of ICPC paid to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu in his office recently.
Prof. Owasanoye said that for an anti-corruption agency like ICPC to carry out its duties effectively, it needed all the support it could get from other agencies and organisations.
According to him, the Commission was of the view that there were several areas that needed rejigging in order to solidify the already existing collaboration between it and the Nigeria Police.
These areas, the ICPC Chairman said, included the deployment of armed police personnel to the Commission’s offices across the country and a ‘special protection squad’ for the Commission’s big-ticket investigations like Constituency Projects Tracking, sting operations, among others.
He explained that before now, ICPC had resorted to writing to the Police Commissioners in various State Commands for armed policemen when the need arose, but would now want the police hierarchy to resolve the problem on a more permanent basis.
Prof. Owasanoye solicited the support of the IGP and other relevant stakeholders like the DSS in the Commission’s efforts to secure the approval of the government for some categories of its staff to bear arms due to the fact that its job was very dangerous. He noted that measures ought to be put in place to protect operatives from being harmed in the line of duty.
He also said that ICPC was investing and building the capacity of some of its personnel in forensics but would require additional support where available so that corrupt people and illicit funds can be tracked electronically.
In addition, the Chairman also sought the collaboration of the Police as regards uprooting corruption from the organisation and the society in general.
He said having carried out a successful campaign with the Federal Road Safety Corps in a joint sting operation on the corps’ personnel involved in the extortion of money from motorists, if replicated on deviant policemen, it would help correct some of the public perception of corruption in the Police.
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye observed that this would show that the Police in Nigeria does not condone the bad behaviours perpetrated by a few bad eggs among its staff.
The Inspector General of Police, in his response, expressed delight at the visit of the ICPC Board adding that no agency had all the resources needed to carry out its assignments.
He stated that the Nigeria Police was ready to collaborate with ICPC because “you need us and we need you” in this fight against corruption, noting that the Nigeria Police had been in the forefront of the fight against corruption with the creation of X-Squad and a Unit where Nigerians could report corruption online.
Mr. Adamu said his organisation was ready to support ICPC with the personnel, equipment and any other resource at its disposal for the Commission to carry out its statutory assignments, assuring that he would do all in his power to aid the fight against corruption in the country.