Sunday Aborisade, Abuja
The bill was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi.
It is titled, “A bill For An Act to Establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic And Investigative Professionals in Nigeria.”
The lawmaker said the bill would assist government to promote transparency and accountability by putting in place sophisticated mechanisms to prevent fraud and white collar crime, with the use of advanced audit technology.
Abdullahi said the establishment of the Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals to develop and train Investigative Professionals in Nigeria.
He added that the bill, would afford government access to home based forensic and Investigative auditors that “will save Nigerian government the cost of inviting foreign forensic professional auditors for fraud investigation.
He said if such law were to be in place in 2014, the case of $20bn declared missing would not have occurred.
He said the Bill seeks to create a platform which would produce qualified, dedicated, skilled and professionally trained individuals in the use of forensic science and technological tools and the techniques of forensic and investigative audit in public and private sectors.
The Senator said the bill would insist on the use of international best practices and skills in the discharge of their function
He said, “The Bill will promote high professional standards, ethics and etiquettes in a bid to wipe out cases of compromised auditing process and reporting and camouflaging of accounting facts, figures and fraud prevention, which is currently one of the banes of many practitioners in Nigeria.
“Interestingly, the Bill when passed will make provision for the training of professionals from other disciplines like lawyers, criminologists, and security experts, judicial officers, court registrars, among others that are desirous to become skilled in the unique practice of financial fraud prevention, detection and investigation.
“This is because forensic and investigative professionals involve litigation support, court testimony and expert witness,” the lawmaker said.
Abdullahi said, “The Institute has been actively involved in training of professionals from different fields, and has trained about 11,600 professionals within and without.
Senator Ayo Akinyelure, in his contribution, said the bill “will do a lot in uncovering fraud in our financial system.”
He said the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals would uncover funds hidden in banks across Nigeria.
He said, “Today, Mr. President, many funds are hidden in our financial institutions running into trillions of naira, but because the technology required to uncover these frauds are not in place, the establishment of this particular professional body will go a long way to uncover most of these funds.”