ROLES OF INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES AND OTHER RELATED OFFENSES COMMISSION. [ICPC]
The International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) of Nigeria is a prominent law enforcement agency dedicated to combating corruption and other forms of economic and financial crimes within the country.
With its establishment in 2000, the ICPC has been instrumental in promoting transparency, accountability, and the rule of law in Nigeria.
In this article, we will delve into the functions, structure, achievements, challenges, and future prospects of the ICPC.
Since its inception, the ICPC has made significant strides in curbing corruption and promoting integrity in Nigeria.
The commission has successfully investigated and prosecuted high-profile corruption cases, leading to the recovery of stolen assets and the prosecution of offenders.
Additionally, the ICPC has conducted numerous public enlightenment campaigns to raise awareness about the adverse effects of corruption and foster a culture of accountability among Nigerians.
Through collaboration with international partners, the ICPC has also been able to obtain valuable intelligence and support in combating transnational corruption.
Functions and Mandate of the ICPC
The ICPC of Nigeria operates under the mandate of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
Its core functions include investigating and prosecuting cases of corruption, embezzlement, fraud, and other economic and financial crimes.
The ICPC is also responsible for preventing corruption through public education, enlightenment campaigns, and collaboration with other anti-corruption agencies both nationally and internationally.
The membership is drawn from the following categories of Nigerians as spelt out by the Act as independent corrupt practices
As provided for in section 3 (3) of the Act 2000, the Commission consists of a Chairman and twelve (12) Members, two of whom represent each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
The membership is drawn from the following categories of Nigerians as spelt out by the Act:
OPERATING STRUCTURE OF ICPC
A retired Police Officer not below the rank of commissioner of Police
A legal practitioner with at least 10 years of post-call experience
A retired judge of a superior court of record
A retired Public Servant not below the rank of a Director
A youth not less than 21 or more than 30 years of age at the time of his or her appointment; and
A chartered accountant–== independent corrupt practices
The Act provides that the Chairman and Members of the Commission, who shall be persons of proven integrity, shall be appointed by the President upon confirmation by the Senate and shall not begin to discharge their duties
until they have declared their assets and liabilities as prescribed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The tenure of office for the Chairman is five (5) years while that of the Members is four (4) years in the first instance.
The Act also provides for the position of a Secretary to the Commission who is to be appointed by the President.
The Commission is granted the powers to appoint, deploy, discipline and determine the conditions of service of its staff.
Section 3 (14) of the Act enshrines the independence of the Commission by providing that “the Commission shall in the discharge of its functions under this Act, not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority”
The Chairman and 12 Members of the Commission constitute three (3) Committees that oversee the excursion of the execution of the enshrined functions of the Commission.
Roles of ICPC independent corrupt practices
Section 6 (a-f) of the ICPC Act 2000 sets out the duties of the Commission as paraphrased in the following:
To receive and investigate complaints from members of the public on allegations of corrupt practices and in appropriate cases, prosecute the offenders
To examine the practices, systems and procedures of public bodies and where such systems aid corruption, to direct and supervise their review.
To instruct, advise and assist any officer, agency, or parasternal on ways by which fraud or corruption may by which fraud or corruption may be eliminated or minimized by them
To advise heads of public bodies of any changes in practice, systems or procedures compatible with the effective discharge of the duties of public bodies to reduce the likelihood or incidence of bribery, corruption and related offences
To educate the public on and against bribery, corruption and related offences
To enlist and foster public support in combating corruption
With respect to the prosecution of cases, the ICPC Act provides that every prosecution for offences under it shall be deemed to be done with the consent of the Attorney-General.
Furthermore, it is provided that the Chief Judge of a state or the Federal Capital Territory shall designate a court or Judges to hear and determine all cases arising under the Act.
Presently, there are two such designated Judges in each State of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory