Posted by News Express | 28 May 2021 | 414 times
There was a sharp disagreement between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) on Thursday over the bill for the establishment of the chartered institute of forensics and certified fraud examiners of Nigeria.
While ICAN kicked against the bill, ANAN on the other hand supported the establishment of the forensic institute.
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the public hearing, a fourth-term member in the House of Representatives, Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP-Abia) raised alarm over a similar bill which passed through Third Reading on the floor of the House, penultimate week.
Hon. Nkem-Abonta who had sponsored the bill on which had earlier been passed but denied presidential assent, alleged that his bill was copied.
“While you rule, I want to expatiate on what I said. Nigeria is in need of fraud examiners, Nigeria is in need of forensic examiners. Nigeria is in need of a cure that will help us cure this thing that is giving us sleepless nights; fraud. Mr Chairman, we have rules, National Assembly is a hallowed chamber, we don’t need to create confusion.
“On the 5th and 19th, of this month, a bill of this similar thing was passed clause by clause, and they passed it, the third reading and whatnot.”
Similarly, the Legal adviser to the chartered institute of forensic and investigative professionals of Nigeria, Benjamin Sekpe in his presentation alleged that it was their bill that was being replicated.
According to him, “allowing the new bill to pass is just a multiplication of laws. The only difference I have seen from the bill is section 19.”
While presenting the bill, the sponsor, Hon. Buba Yusuf (APC-Adamawa) said the passage of the bill would help the nation’s fight against corruption, trade and fast track recovery of looted funds and assets, build capacity, attract foreign investment and build and restore the confidence of investors in the economy and as well reduce the country’s exposure to illicit financial flows as well as save the Nigerian economy a minimum of N5 trillion annually and create thousands of jobs across the 774 Local Government Areas.
Speaking in favour of the bill, President, Chartered Institute of Forensic and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria, Iliyasu Gashinbaki said the bill when passed into law would provide an over-arching multidisciplinary regulatory standard and professional code of conduct and ethics for the practice and regulation of forensic disciplines in Nigeria.
He further pointed out that the Bill when passed into law would assist in fighting illicit financial flows by supporting the federal government and its relevant law enforcement agencies to build capacity on how to limit illicit financial flows and increase financial transparency, detect and deter cross border tax evasion, eliminate anonymous shell companies, strengthen anti-money laundering laws and practices.
On his part, however, Second ICAN Vice President, Dr Innocent Eghosa said there was a similar bill passed by the House in May this year, hence this bill should be discarded.
He argued that forensic was not a primary and “if there was anything forensic, it should be within the purview of ICAN, ANAN and other profession.”
According to him, “Section 2 of the bill provides that the objectives amongst other things are to train, etc. But this training that is being promoted by the bill is not new. ICAN has faculty that trains people. Everything listed here can be performed by ICAN.”
While ruling, the Co-chairman of the public hearing and Chairman of the House Committee on Anti-Corruption, Hon. Shehu Nicholas however ruled that the allegations would be looked into.
While declaring the hearing open, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila expressed grave concern over “the different manifestations of corruption in our society have long mitigated against our national development.”
He said: “Until we have slain this monster, we may not achieve the ambitions we have for our country. Therefore, we have an obligation to do what we must strengthen the institutions of state responsible for leading the charge against this menace”.
According to him, “Part of that effort requires us to ensure that these anti-corruption agencies have access to a pool of qualified and credentialled talent to conduct complex fraud investigations, carry out forensic audits and gather the evidence that allows for perpetrators of criminal and corrupt acts to be properly held to account.”
Hon. Gbajabiamila who was represented by the Deputy Leader, Hon. Peter Akpatason assured that the House was committed to fighting corruption to a logical end. (Adapted from Nigerian Tribune)
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