Nigeria: Senate Moves to Enhance ICPC’s Investigative Powers

Adetutu Folasade-Koyi 

Nigeria Senators have resolved to amend the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act to insert a new clause which, if approved, would allow it to accept gifts of land, property or money. They also want to empower the ICPC to probe corrupt Nigerians without waiting for any report, provided

such cases are established.

 That means, said the lawmakers, a report need not be lodged with the ICPC before it can investigate corruption.

The proposal is contained in a Bill to amend the ICPC Act, 2000

 Leading debate on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes Committee, Sola Akinyede, the sponsor of the Bill, noted that the ICPC, unlike the EFCC, cannot probe corruption cases.

“Under the present law, the ICPC apparently cannot initiate investigations on its own. It must wait for a report to be lodged before it can prosecute. In the face of glaring corruption, if no report is laid before the ICPC, it cannot take any investigative action of its own.


“The amendment being sought is to make the Commission more proactive by empowering it to initiate investigations where reasonable grounds exist to suggest that corruption is taking place in an organisation or by an individual,” Akinyede explained.

 The new Section 73 says: “The principal Act is amended by inserting the following new Section; that is, ‘the Commission may accept gifts of land, money or other property (whether within or outside Nigeria) upon such terms and conditions, if any, as may be specified by the person or organisation making the gift, provided that the terms and conditions are not contrary to the objectives and functions of the Commission under the Act.”