A Professor of Forensic Accounting has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to enhance the investigation of corruption cases by equipping its forensic accounting unit.
Professor Samuel Dada made this submission while delivering the Babcock University 41st inaugural lecture, The Forensic Accountant in a Global World of Corruption and Stunted Economic Growth.
He recommended the engagement of trained experts with attractive remuneration to facilitate the investigation of corruption cases or the use of Forensic Accounting experts from professional accounting firms to serve as investigators and expert witnesses.
This, he argued, would assist the court to reach a conclusion on corruption cases without delay.
His paper also called for the strengthening of the legal framework to ensure that courts apply the provisions of Section 19 sub-section 2 of the EFCC Act, 2004 for an accelerated trial of corruption cases as well as the non-interference in corruption cases by the government.
“Government should not interfere in the operations of EFCC,” he said. “No individual should be treated as a sacred cow.”
Apart from attractive pay, he attributes the success of the anti-corruption campaign in Hong Kong to the country’s anti-corruption agency’s independence from political interference and separation from the police force and the civil service.
He urged the judiciary not to use technicalities to dismiss cases of corruption as in the case of former governor of Delta state, James Ibori whose case was dismissed by a Nigerian court but convicted by a court in London.
This led to a 13-year jail term for the former governor and embarrassment for the Nigerian judicial system.
He submitted that the inclusion of ethics and forensic accounting in the curricula of tertiary educational institutions would both ensure effective professional training and create a stronger awareness of its value to “boost societal moral values.”