Institutes bicker over bill to give legal backing to forensic institute

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The Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria (CIFCFEN) and the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria(CIFIPN) have squabbled over move to give CIFCFEN a legal backing.

The two bodies engaged in a war of words on Thursday in Abuja at a public hearing conducted by the joint House of Representatives Committee on Anti-corruption and Commerce.

The public hearing was on a bill for an Act for the establishment of CIFCFEN to provide for the regulation and control of its membership and promote the practice of forensics and fraud examiners in Nigeria.

The CIFCFEN President, Dr Iliayasu Gashinbaki, said the bill if signed into law would complement what the government was doing in fighting the menace of corruption in the country.

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He said that the bill, contrary to the claim by CIFIPN, was not in any way related to its activities.

According to him, the greatest service will be the accelerated passage of this bill because the achievement that will follow the passage will be huge.

He said that the bill sought to ensure how the country’s anti-corruption drive would be sustainable through a dedicated institution with array of professionals.

He said that the country’s rate of conviction on corruption would have been far better if the bill had been passed, adding that the bill was not in competition with the law enforcement agents or CIFIPN.

However, the CIFIPN, Pro-tem President, Dr Enape Ayishetu, said that the organisation was taken aback when it discovered that a bill that sought to establish CIFCFEN was introduced in the House of Reps.

She added that CIFCFEN bill was introduced immediately after the passage of CIFIPN bill by the Senate on March 2.

“On hearing this, we became curious and our curiosity led us to critically look at the provisions of the newly introduced bill alongside with ours, which has already been passed by the National Assembly.

“And we discovered that the provisions of the new bill merely duplicate the provisions of our bill,” she said.

She said that during the debate on the general principles of the proposed bill on the floor of the House, the members that spoke in favour of the bill misunderstood it to be CIFIPN’s bill.

She said this was because they were making references to when the bill was passed by the two chambers in the 8th Assembly.

She stated that the only bill on forensic, which was passed by the 8th Assembly was CIFIPN’s bill and not the one being consider by the House of Reps.

According to her, this misconception arose due to the similarities of the nomenclature of the names of the Institutes and their functions.

This she added was as espoused in the provisions of the two bills, hence the need for the NASS to do what was required to save Nigerians from the seeming confusion.

She said that the provisions of the bill were duplications of the provisions of CIFIPN bill, 2021, which has already been passed by NASS and was at the final stage of being sent to Mr President for assent.(NAN)

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