CIFIPN bill endorsement: International forensic investigators commend NASS

                               Dr. Mannixs Paul

The of International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals (IICFIP) has commended the country’s 8th National Assembly (NASS) for endorsing the Chartered Institute of Forensic and investigative Professional of Nigeria (CIFIPN) Bill.

Dr. Mannixs Paul, the Continental Director of International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals, North America, gave the commendation in a letter to the National Assembly made available by CIFIPN Pro-Term President, Dr. (Mrs.) Victoria Enape, saying the bill would advance take the fight against corruption in Nigeria to the next level.

Paul who doubles as the President of Uniworld Corporate Investigation and Security Specialist LLC, USA, noted that the 8th Assembly had defiled the strong resistance to a change and opt to adopt proactive steps to pass the bill establishing CIFIPN.

The Licensed Investigative Practitioner (LIP) and Associate Professor in University of Phoenix noted that the bill when assented to by the President would bring the real change needed to economically transform the country.

Read the full text of his letter:

International Forensic Professional Applaud 8th Assembly Endorsement for CIPIPN to advance the fight against Corruption in Nigeria

The Continental Director of International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigative Professional, North America, and the President of Uniworld Corporate Investigation and Security Specialist LLC, USA, Dr. Mannixs Paul commended the 8th Assembly for defiling the strong resistance to a change and opt to adopt proactive steps to pass the bill establishing the Chartered Institute of Forensic and investigative Professional of Nigeria (CIFIPN).

The unprecedented action of the 8th Assembly and the leadership was well applauded by Nigerians in the Diaspora and Intelligence Professional Community. This was timely because the issue of a synchronized systemic culture of white-collar crimes and corruption can no longer be overlooked.

It is believed that uncontrolled corruption is deemed as an enormous threat to national security and the sustainability of a nation building greatly depends on the proactive response of patriots to do what is expedient for the common good of the nation.

We quite understood that in a multifaceted society like Nigeria, where diversity, which supposed to be strength, but poorly managed sometimes makes it difficult to achieve real change because appointed agents and interest groups are most likely to place self-interest and personal aggrandizement over the progressive agenda of the country, which is a misguided decision.

Regardless of the long passage of conquering the obstructions, the actions of both houses, Senate and House of Representatives are well celebrated, and their selfless action is now a gateway to a new beginning for the country. Nigeria as a nation cannot continue in the old failed paths and looking forward to a ground-breaking result is self-deceiving.

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After a decade of a fighting against corruption, Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, considered the pride of Africa, and seen as a nation gifted with human capital and natural resources, mega religious organizations and other key advantages, cannot invalidate the worldwide assumption of being categorized as one of the most corrupt nations of the world where “fraud and corruption are committed with impunity”.

The new innovative ideas emerged as a result of problems and it is high time academic institutions stood against corruption, rather develop programs, and modify their curriculum that are parallel to the day-to-day needs of business and society.

Institutions nationwide should join the fight against white-collar crimes and corruption through sharing of knowledge and experience among professionals in various communities, and occupations. One will use this opportunity to thank the stakeholders of CIFIAN, “CIPIPN” who have fought courageously, specially the Pro-Term President, Dr. (Mrs.) Victoria Enape.

As a Nigerian, regardless of where you are domiciled, reading through the newspapers and present day occurrences of long history of worldwide perception that Nigerians commit “bribery and corruption with impunity” is not something to smile about. The nation pride and integrity is robbed, the citizens are exposed to hostility and their reputation is constantly at stake, where the psychological and emotional well-being has become a critical issue.

Imagine that you are treated differently because of your nationality, how will you feel? Currently, many Nigerian citizens are suffering from the stereotype for being assumed as a country of fraud and corruption, where bribery is an accepted standard.

Indeed, it is self-evident that the three hands of government must agree to change the system for the good of the posterity of the next generation, if not corruption will eventually erode the future generation.

As scholar practitioners, seeking for viable options to address a problem in organizations and societies, observing the trend of events and data speaks for itself; government, institution, organizations and citizens cannot be ignored any longer, and the helpless state makes it mind troubling seeing the various statistical data, and realizing that 13 anticorruption laws in the country cannot change the overall behavior of her citizens.

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According to the NBS, about 95% of Nigerians have the inclination to indulge in bribery, and others report that the most prevalence categories of corruptions from enforcement to implementation, imagine 30 out of 33 Judges failing integrity testing in the judiciary, then what is the hope of the common citizen where gross betrayal and abuse of power have become an phenomenon, which has become a way of life style.

Furthermore, statistical data indicated that Nigeria scored 27 out of 100 points on the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. Based on the statistical record, Corruption Index in Nigeria averaged 20.76 points from 1996 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 28 points in 2016 and a record low of 6.90 points in 1996.

Nigeria and most African countries are yet below the average standard expectations worldwide for the fight against white-collar crimes and abuse of public trust (corruption). Corporate leaders and various governments are advised to provide an anti-fraud and anti-corruption enabling workplace by promoting due diligence as top priority in their reformative agendas.

The danger of commercial and government offices becoming a plain field of corruption is a looming threat to the business communities, and world leaders and other prominent anti-fraud and anti-corruption organizations have over the years, warned about the eminent growing danger of unrestrained corrupt practices, and white-collar crimes among the third-world nations.

The problem of bribery and corruption is not limited to developing nations rather it is a worldwide problem. However, the inability to control the level of corruption will ultimately affect the survival of businesses. Therefore this is an urgent need, and can only be sustained by the involvement of both local and foreign investors to build a viable economy, which systematic fraud and corrupt practices are noted as chief disruptions.

Therefore, the 8th Assembly taken steps to pass the bill is a great move to make something different and I advise that the Chartered Institute of Forensic and investigative Professional of Nigeria (CIFIPN) should focus on adding value to the fight against white- collar crimes and corruption. This will help professionals and various agencies to achieve the key function to make a difference in the fight against corruption, which the bill passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives seek to address, and I appeal to the President of Nigeria to sign it into law.

Nigerians in both home and abroad must understand that corruption is like untamed fire ready to ruin the posterity of the nation as well as the integrity of her citizen and place the nation in a state of lawlessness. The problem is now redeemable, but the strategy of the fight against corruption must be changed, and we must realize that there is no country in the world that is immune to corruption but it becomes more problematic if it has reached the level where current leadership cannot function for the benefit of her citizens.

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The fight against corruption could always be a fairytale except current administration put into operation an enduring mechanism that lives longer than the current tenure of the administration and implement laws that prevent incoming administration from creating any obstruction of investigation process relating to mitigate corruption.

As well, steps must be taken to increase the sharing of information, implement complex data structure that makes changes difficult, set case timelines with a legal penalty, and establish an independent superintending agency that comprises of local, state, and federal structures, and ensures compliance in enforcement agencies, including police, anticorruption agencies, the judiciary, and the authorized civilian complaint board.

Nigeria is a multicultural society, and seeking to be like other nations in fighting corruption might be harder than one may think because a society that is not “ruled based” has a greater tendency to undermine their laws, then how can you successfully prosecute white collar-crimes and succeed in the legal system.

Based on the prevailing situation in developing nations, especially Nigeria, the lack of enabling environment for law enforcement agencies to speedily expedite prosecution and conviction would be challenging. The changing times demand greater accountability for the three arms of government to do there statutory duties for their services to the nation.

History will ask, how does your life and service impact the greater good of society? Personal aggrandizement, and greed is the originator of corruption but society is looking for selfless servants, who are patriotic to her nation, and want to rebrand the nation and have that highly esteem basic rule of law, which comprise of ” equity, justice and fairness” and give hope to the next generation for greater Nigeria.

Dr. Mannixs E. Paul, PhD, MPA (Law & Mgt), FCFIP, FNAMA, FCIML, FCFIA, (USA)

Certified Forensic Investigative Professional

Continental Director of IICFIP, North America | Canada

President of Uniworld Corporate Investigation & SS LLC, USA

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