Consequent upon the successful passage of the bill to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria, the Association of Professional Bodies in Nigeria has started manifesting the characteristics of the obnoxious Association of Better Nigeria which worked assiduously to truncate the June 12 1993 election in Nigeria.
Before the bill was passed by the Nigerian Senate, APBN was among several other professional bodies in Nigeria present at the Public Hearing on the bill to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria. Despite the antagonism of both the ICAN and APBN, their combined arguments made no meaning against the CIFIAN Bill hence the Senate passed the bill.
When the bill was sent to the House of Representative for concurrence, ICAN surfaced again and insisted that the word Auditors contained in the bill should be expunged and substituted, otherwise the bill should not be touched. The bill was frustrated and returned to the sponsors and its promoters. Not quite long, the bill resurfaced but with a different name as demanded by ICAN members in the House. It now appeared as Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN). With little or no resistance, the bill scaled through the 1st reading on the 24th of April, 2019, 2nd reading on the 21st of May, 2019 and 3rd reading on the 23rd of May, 2019 and was passed by the House. No sooner than the bill was passed, APBN came openly to rebuke and disparage the law makers for passing the bill. They began to pressurize the Senate to deny concurrence to the bill. But having failed to convince the Senate in their first coming, the Senate jettisoned the antics of APBN and put their seal of concurrence.
The bill is now on its journey to the office of Mr. President for ascent. Meanwhile APBN has been holding clandestine meetings and press conferences on hourly basis begging the President to withhold ascent to the Bill. An investigation revealed the ICAN is behind the noise coming from the APBN
Simply put, APBN is not a professional body but a friendly umbrella of all professional bodies in Nigeria. However, its membership is voluntary
ICAN has integrity problem as their following members have been jailed on account of fraud and or corruption:
Former Governor Joseph Dariye, Fellow of ICAN is serving 14 year jail for N2 billion fraud (https://punchng.com/ex-plateau-gov-dariye-jailed-14-years-for-over-n2bn-fraud/
One Abayomi Shofolayan Chartere Accountant was jailed 18 month for N7.3 million fraud (www.proshareng.com/news/Fraud%20&%20Scandals/Court-jails-chartered-accountant-over- N7.3-million-tax-fraud-forgery-/12801
Another Akinyemi Idowu Jegede, Chartered Accountant was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for fraud (http://www.efccnigeria.org/efcc/news/242-accountant-bags-7-7- years-jail-term-over-n27-6-m-scam
There are of course, many other publicized cases of ICAN members’ involvement in unethical professional conducts here and there. We need to ask who were the auditors of all the Nigerian banks that collapsed with depositors money trapped in the past?
ICAN wants Nigeria to remain a land of fraud and corruption so they can continue to corruptly amass wealth to themselves at the expense of the whole nation. With the above baggage of negative profile, ICAN in whatever disguise cannot fight fraud and corruption in Nigeria and should please excuse the experts to take bull by the horn.
Now they are wearing the gab of APBN and attempting the same thing the ABN did in 1993, but they will not succeed.
CIFIPN is a body of Forensic Investigators in various field of knowledge preparing to assist government in the fight against fraud and corruption. We have:
Forensic Accountants and Auditors
Biometrics Forensic Experts
Computer and Digital Forensic Experts
Questioned Documents Examiners and Handwriting Experts
Biomedical Forensics and Clinical Psychologists
Forensic Investigators and Criminal Intelligence Experts
To mention just a few
There is no profession in Nigeria yet, that has forensic investigation as part of its functions and callings. One now wonders how the foray of the Forensic Investigators would duplicate what ICAN is already doing.
Crimes cannot be effectively tackled in the digital age without the deployment of forensic science. ICAN lacks this expertise but wants to play the spoiler at all cost… They will fail just like they failed at the Senate and House of Representatives.
Going through the memory lane, one would remember how ICAN fought ANAN openly on the streets of Lagos in those days before ANAN was eventually chartered as the second accountancy body in Nigeria.. Again it is still fresh in our memory how ICAN engaged the CITN (Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria) in unnecessary battle, even at the courts of law, and ICAN lost
CIFIPN is not an accountancy body, but an anti-fraud and anti-corruption body established to harness the expertise of the anti-fraud and anti-corruption experts and the intelligence community to fight these vices deploying forensic sciences.
Most advanced countries are relying on the expertise of Forensic Investigators to handle complex fraud and corruption cases which yield incontrovertible evidence and appearing in court as expert witnesses to assist the courts to arrive at the truth. The array of professionals and experts assembled by CIFIPN is very intimidating to ICAN and the best they can do is to cry to town demanding for sympathy where they deserve none.
Nigerians at home and in the diaspora have continued to thank the National Assembly for passing this all important bill and creating the structure that would tackle fraud and corruption in Nigeria. We have to start from a point as a journey of one thousand miles begins with a step.
At the Senate Public Hearing of the CIFIAN bill now renamed CIFIPN, the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) which is a member of the APBN supported the passage of the bill. It is clear that APBN is not honest about its claim of representing its members to speak against CIFIPN when in actual fact some APBN members are in support of the establishment of CIFIPN while other members are of the view that they have nothing against CIFIPN. Wherever deception is present, fraud must certainly be there, so APBN should first of all come out clean in this matter. Nigerians with honest and legal mind should please take judicial notice of the conduct of APBN in this matter.
As an expert in Forensic Auditing, Criminal Intelligence and Investigation, I am bold enough to say that within the ambit of all ICAN syllabus, they are in no way near the skill requirements and body of knowledge in the Forensic arena. We are not doing the same work and cannot do the same work and we are therefore not duplicating ICAN work or the work of any other professional body in Nigeria.
I therefore appeal to our role model, the man of Integrity acknowledged by all African leaders and beyond, the terror of looters, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to please ascent to the bill and create the structure finally once and for all.
Prof. Richard Mayungbe, Lagos, Nigeria
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SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)