Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences, Ekpo Nta has said the Nigerian constitution does not provide any immunity clause that prevents governors and presidents from being probed or investigated.
Speaking on the Nigerian television Authority (NTA), Nta gave a better explanation to what immunity means for public office holder
“Immunity does not cover or bring to an end a criminal investigation. There is no act in existence today that says you cannot investigate anybody. What it is says is that you cannot prosecute some sitting officials at certain levels.”
The ICPC boss says the police and anti-corruption agencies are “to get any accused into the law court with whatever evidence the commission has against them and for the law court to determine the merit of any such matter, so that we don’t become persecutors.”
Nta also said the commission have put in place steps to check that the National budget allocations are not abused.
He also said the ICPC would be with a National Assembly committee to see audited reports on corruption.
He said: “We have been doing some of the investigations on those aspects, and we can see evidence that we are making some good gains.”
Nta claimed that his agency always go round all the MDAs to look at the left over funds which might not be remitted to the government at the end of every financial year.
“We did a lot of recoveries. Thank God, we now have the electronic platform which shows clearly that this fund is not there or it is here.”
Nta also shared his thoughts on the need for the bank verification exercise.
He said: “I had said clearly that the on-going exercise of biometric capture of all bank customers would aid anti-corruption agencies in tracing fraudsters who use the banking sector to dupe innocent persons.”
“With the on-going exercise, when you tie that up with national identity card, the driver’s license, the voters’ registration, there is a strong likelihood that I should be able to trace who these fraudsters are.”
The ICPC boss also said the agency will step up is fight against corruption.
Last year, reports emerged that the Senate Conference Committee on Constitution Review voted against immunity to the president and state governors.
At the National Conference it was recommended to remove immunity clause which states that the president, vice president, state governors and their deputies are protected from prosecution and investigation while they in office.