Corruption: Stakeholders seek forensic auditors in public, private sectors

Some stakeholders have called for the establishment of forensic departments in public and private entities to fight corruption as well as halls of shame for convicted looters.

This was revealed at the inauguration of the Lagos State chapter of the Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria on Tuesday.

In his lecture titled, ‘The Pits and the Plain of the Journey So Far, Professor Michael Ayeni, called for the establishment of forensics units in both the public and private sectors to fight corruption.

He said, “Fighting corruption and fraud has become an Achilles’ heel in our Society; so impervious to confront, but with seal and determination to hold the bull by its horn, we can subdue the monster to submission. I believe that corruption and fraud are both vulnerable to defeat. We only need to strengthen our institutions and make them more potent in contrast to the current powerless institutions and influential individuals that constitute a cartel of inordinate wealth grabbers.

“I have propounded two theories that I believe can help mitigate fraud and corruption, especially at the top echelon of our society, and this is by creating forensic departments in all our ministries and MDAs, including blue chip private entities, to complement the efforts of their internal auditors who are toothless bulldogs due to their being an appendage of those charged with the governance of the respective entities.”

Ayeni also called for the establishment of the Hall Of Shame, where the names of convicted looters of Nigerians’ common patrimony will be engraved for the generation yet unborn to view and make a mockery of them and their families.

“This Hall Of Shame should be in all the states’ houses of assembly including the National Assembly,” he said.

Speaking on the relevance of forensics auditors in the modern day, Dr Adebola Shobanjo, said that as long as fraud continues to be perpetuated, then the professionals would be needed.

Shobanjo said, “We are very relevant. As long as people continue to perpetuate fraud, then our work will continue to be relevant.”

He went on to list several avenues in personal, professional and national lives where forensic experts would be needed.

In his welcome address, the chairman of the chapter, Olubode Oni, emphasised that forensic experts are the hope of the nation.

“We are the hope for a better Nigeria. Our profession assures that facts remain facts, therefore, any act that will be inimical to the image of this great profession must be shunned. Let us constantly remind ourselves that we are in this profession to pioneer an indigenous forensic and fraud investigation profession of global standards of excellence that creates value for the stakeholders and the society, we must not lose focus of the vision,” Oni said.