By Chimezie Godfrey
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN has said that the Commission was not at liberty to disclose information related to the identity of a petitioner and suspects, or the status of any investigative activities until investigation was completed.
Professor Owasanoye made this known on Thursday during an advocacy visit to the Commission’s headquarters by the Service Compact with All Nigerians (SERVICOM) Office led by its National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Nnenna Akajimeli.
The Chairman revealed that when cases are received, they are investigated to ascertain which ones are to be handled by the Commission, as not all reported cases fall under the purview of ICPC. However, he said, despite the Commission’s efforts to be responsive to requests for information, ICPC was constrained by law not to disclose any piece of information regarding any case that is still under investigation to anyone.
“Section 64 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 clearly forbids the Commission to reveal any information, the identity of informers and all other circumstances relating to a matter except to a trial Judge or the defence lawyer in any civil, criminal or other proceedings,” he said.
Speaking at the meeting, the SERVICOM National Coordinator, Mrs. Nnenna Akajimeli praised the Commission for the creation of the SERVICOM unit and said she was happy at the progress the unit has made so far.
The Coordinator stated the advocacy visit was to improve the Commission’s public service delivery by building the capacity of the management through training and to demonstrate how services can be improved in practice.
According to her, law enforcement agencies in Nigeria can offer quality service to the public despite the delicate nature of their mandate, and advocated a proactive disclosure of what customers should expect when coming to the Commission.
“The quality of governance is determined by the quality of services delivered to citizens and extent to which these services meet their expectations, and therefore SERVICOM’s mandate focuses on improving the quality of service delivery to the public by working with MDAs to ensure effective service delivery”, she said.
She urged the Commission to continue its engagement and support to the SERVICOM team in the Commission as that would help to achieve a more effective service delivery.
The highlight of the visit was the naming of ICPC Chairman as a SERVICOM Ambassador. In attendance were the Commission’s Board Members, Directors and State Residents Anti-Corruption Commissioners in the 21 State offices across the Federation who joined the meeting virtually.