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ICPC wants prosecution of corruption cases extended to Federal High Courts

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has proposed to the National Assembly, an expansion of its options of courts to prosecute corruption cases to include Federal High Courts.

A statement issued by the spokesperson for the Commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa, on Friday said the proposal was contained in a memorandum presented to the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption.

Acting Chairman of ICPC, Abdullahi Bako, made the presentation during a public hearing organised on a bill to amend the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

Bako said the amendment became necessary given the fact that the Commission was restricted by its extant law to prosecute cases only in State High courts, a development he said was hampering its prosecutorial effectiveness as high-profile defendants often wield substantial influence within a state.

In the memorandum, the ICPC also made other proposals for amendment such as limiting its board membership to seven persons as against 13 that currently obtains, returning recovered proceeds of corruption to their original sources whether Federal, State, Local government or private persons, and retaining a percentage of its recoveries to help fund the commission among others.

The Act

The Committee Chairman, Akinloye Babajide, said the amendment of the Act was being done to enhance and strengthen the commission’s efficiency and effectiveness.

He added that the importance of the public hearing, as a forum for the public, was to seek various inputs to make a good law towards the overall fight against corruption.