The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, has said that the private sector was responsible for over 60 per cent illegal movement of funds from Africa to foreign countries.
He made this known during the visit of council members of the African Bar Association (AFBA) led by its President, Mr Hanniba Uwaifo to the corporate headquarters of the ICPC recently.
The ICPC boss stated that the perpetrators of illicit financial flows (IFFs) channeled the funds through commercial activities enabled by the private sector.
“A bulk of corruption going on in the country is caused or perpetuated by the private sector. About 60 per cent of funds taken or stolen away from Africa through illicit financial flows are being done by the private sector, basically, through commercial transactions, seemingly harmless transactions that are put together by accountants, auditors and bankers.” He added.
Professor Owasanoye, who also commented on attacks on staff of the commission and other anti-corruption agencies by suspects under investigations, said that it was fuelled by impunity and weak laws.
He, therefore, listed some of the progress made by the commission to include: de-emphasizing confession-based investigation, a world-class forensic lab, staff auditing, and capacity building.
He charged the African Bar Association (AFBA) to play a positive role in regulating lawyers’ effectiveness in the fight against corruption and pledged the commission’s commitment to supporting the upcoming Anti-Corruption Conference of the AFBA scheduled to hold in Niamey, Republic of Niger.
Earlier, the AFBA President, Mr Hanniba Uwaifo traced the problem in Africa to corruption which, according to him, has led to the underdevelopment of the continent.
He stressed that the continent cannot grow unless corruption was uprooted, adding that the world is worried about the level of corruption in Africa.
Uwaifo lamented that public sector corruption by government officials has held the country back from achieving its great potentials.