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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has vowed to intensify the seizure of assets of public servants and other Nigerians that are confirmed to have enriched themselves with public funds.
According to an online news medium, Greenbarge Reporters, the commission’s Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta, said yesterday in an interview in Abuja, that the commission was strengthening its Asset Tracing and Monitoring Unit to ensure that the commission’s power on assets’ seizure is exercised.
“To every investigation that we do, there is an element of assets tracing and monitoring because my attitude is that we cannot stop corruption if we do not seize the proceeds of crimes.
“Somebody takes money and builds a house, gets arrested and spends three months in jail or a fine in the alternative and goes back and enjoys the property.
“My new approach is that, since the money cannot be retrieved back, I can trace it to the house built with the money to ensure that the person has no right to enjoy the facility,” he said.
He said the commission had cut down investigation time, saying it was now insisting on doing more of surveillance before striking, so as to reduce time spent on trying to get answer from a suspect.
“With this approach, admission level to corrupt practices is higher because what we now do is to present to the suspect the evidence we have already discovered,” he said.
The ICPC boss said the commission had since the inception of the present administration ensured that matters involving economic and financial crimes were moved to the EFCC to avoid duplication of duties.
“Petitions that are basically administrative in nature, we refer them to Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Public Complaints Commission (PCC),” he added.