The Provost of the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the research and training arm of ICPC, Professor Olatunde Babawale has reiterated the importance of effective investigation and prosecution in money laundering cases.
He made this statement in his welcome address at a 2-day workshop on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing which kicked off at the ICPC headquarters recently.
In his address, he noted that the workshop was a follow-up to an unfavorable mutual evaluation carried out by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) 2019 which rated Nigeria low in investigation and prosecution of money laundering.
Professor Babawale opined that financing of terrorism and money laundering are crimes with economic effect which only differ in the sense that money laundering often comes from an illegal source, whereas terrorism finance has to do with ‘who’ the money goes to and ‘what’ illegal group or activity its supports.
He likewise referred to the UNODC’s report which estimated that about 2-5% of global GDP ($800 billion to $2 trillion) is being laundered around the world annually.
He lauded the ICPC for doing a lot in building and continuously applying modern strategies to aid its enforcement mandate as stated in section 6a of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000. In his words, “the primary reason for establishing the Academy is to facilitate the effective implementation of ICPC’s mandate, cardinal among which is enforcement, and to equip ICPC officers with the necessary skills and knowledge that will enable them perform at required level”.
He however added that the ever-changing nature of terrorism and money laundering requires the Commission to do more. It is to this effect that the academy is expected to provide a system of training and re-training that will continually produce sound anti-corruption policies, operational efficiency and good management culture.
In closing, the Provost stated that the content of the workshop was carefully put together to ensure maximum learning by participants and also equip them with enhanced skills of investigation and prosecution with a view to laying the foundations for sustainable assault on corruption.