A Nigerian, Mr Umar Yakubu has been elected to represent African Sub-Saharan region on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Coalition Board.Yakubu who is the Executive Director, Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW), was elected in the third round of the preferential vote in a highly competitive process.A statement issued on Thursday by Mr Victor Agi, Public Affairs Manager, CeFTIW, stated that the Centre had over the years championed advocacies to entrench the culture of transparency and integrity in the nation’s public sector.The Centre had also deployed technological solutions to promote accountability in the nation’s fight against corruption and strengthening of the criminal justice system.Agi stated that Yakubu’s election would bolster CeFTIW resolve to combat corruption and promote good governance in the country and across the sub-Saharan African sub-region.“The Center looks forward to working with other board members and global anti-corruption crusaders in the fight against corruption in whatever form, especially in the region”.On Yakubu’s new place of assignment (UNCAC), Agi stated that it is a global network of over 350 Civil Society organisations (CSOs) in over 100 Countries committed to promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption.With headquarters in Vienna, the Coalition was established in August 2006 to mobilise civil society actions for UNCAC at international, regional and national levels.In his new role, Yakubu is expected to take part in providing policy coordination and oversight of the work of the Secretariat.He will also take part in overseeing the development and implementation of the coalition’s strategy and promoting its activities and projects as well as helping to identify funding opportunities.He will also be part of the team communicating positions of the UN coalition to wider public audiences within sub-Saharan Africa. (
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has rallied a global action against Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), including a call for global framework on IFFs similar to corruption.Owasanoye made this call at a side event of the ongoing hybrid 54th Conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) taking place in Dakar, Senegal.Mrs Azuka Ogugua, ICPC’s Spokesperson, in a statement in Abuja said that the conference would focus on regional efforts to track, recover and return stolen assets from Africa through the IFFs. She said that the meeting was attended by representatives of member-countries of the Economic Community for Africa, heads of anti-corruption agencies and international bodies.Addressing the meeting virtually, the ICPC boss emphasised the need for a global framework on IFFs as part of a determined commitment to tackle the menace.“The challenge we found ourselves today is that the rules have always been skewed in favour of those who export capital and against those who import capital. Corruption is a global issue and we have a global framework on corruption.“The IFFs is also a global issue but does not have a global framework.“A way out of the problem is to institute a global framework on IFFs which, among others, will address the huge financial losses suffered by African countries,” the ICPC chairman stated.He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war had complicated the financial resources of African countries, hence the need to tackle the IFFs and stop further hemorrhage of the financial resources on the continent.Further to the global framework on IFFs, Owasanoye also proffered legal and policy measures that should be implemented by African countries to address the IFFs risk.These legal and policy measures, according to the ICPC boss include, review of agreements entered into with Multinational Corporations (MNCs), review of inimical double taxation agreements.Others are: enactment of laws, rules or regulations on unexplained wealth order or lifestyle audit, introduction of civil forfeiture of assets and beneficial ownership standards; and design of a framework for trans-digital transactions.The ICPC chairman also advocated tougher measures against corrupt state officials who collude with the MNCs against their countries.“African countries must understand that the MNCs split contracts.“The juicy parts of the contracts with MNCs are domiciled in their home countries while the non-juicy parts of the contracts are domiciled in Africa.“We need to deal with the MNCs’ collaboration by government officials who look the other way in international agreements,” he said.Earlier in her remarks, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Rebecca Grynspan, said the global economy was under enormous stress due to COVID-19 pandemic, Russia–Ukraine war and climate change.Grynspan noted that IFFs posed a huge challenge to African countries in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).“We are aware of the increasing rates which make it more difficult and harder for African countries to access finance.“The African economies are also feeling the impact of the Russia – Ukraine war and thereby widening the financing gap.“Africa requires US$2.45 trillion to meet its SDG financing gap. We can close half of the SDG financing gap for Africa if we are able to curb IFFs.“We therefore cannot continue to allow the billions of dollars of IFFs slipping out of Africa every year,” she said.She added that, “The IFFs and Asset Recovery are more critical to Africa today. Both are required by African Countries to achieve the SDGs.”She emphasised on the need for data and collaboration among African institutions like Customs and Central Banks as a necessary condition for tracking the IFFs.The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument.The convention’s far-reaching approach and mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem.The vast majority of United Nations Member States are parties to the convention.
Federation Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami, SAN, says Nigeria is collaborating with various jurisdictions in their efforts to recover stolen assets hidden abroad.
Malami unveiled it at the ninth session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) held in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.
The minister, in a statement, Gwandu, his special assistant in media and public relations, said on Monday that the essence was to further highlight the importance of transparency of the beneficial owners.
He said that Nigeria, together with Pakistan, the State of Palestine, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Kenya introduced a draft resolution entitled: "Improve access to and use of beneficial ownership information" to facilitate the identification, recovery and return of assets. .
He said that significant progress had been made in efforts to combat corruption in Nigeria.
"We will continue to make significant progress in our efforts to prevent and combat corruption, block leaks and recover our stolen assets," he said.
He recalled that Justice Minister Abubakar Malami, SAN, says Nigeria is collaborating with various jurisdictions in their efforts to recover stolen assets hidden abroad. Laws and acts have been enacted to better combat corruption in the country.
“An effective Criminal Justice System is necessary to investigate and punish corruption. Nigeria, implementing the Justice Sector Reform Strategy, is actively involved in international cooperation mechanisms, mutual legal assistance and reform of the criminal justice system.
“We recently enacted a Law on Mutual Legal Assistance in accordance with the recommendations of the UNCAC review, and we also enacted the Law on the Nigerian Law on the Faculty Intelligence Unit, to create an independent Faculty Intelligence Unit,” he said.
The United Nations is encouraged by Somalia's recent accession to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 9, 2021 / APO Group / -
On the occasion of the International Day Against Corruption, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, James Swan, underscored the importance of building accountable and transparent institutions and welcomed the country's progress in this area.
“Corruption is a great obstacle to development. It undermines efforts toward state-building, peace, and reconciliation. It also undermines public confidence and weakens state institutions and their ability to serve the Somali people, ”said Mr. Swan.
"In this regard, the United Nations is encouraged by Somalia's recent adherence to the UN Convention against Corruption," he added. "This is an important step forward."
The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), to which Somalia became a state party on August 11, 2021, is a key international instrument to maintain, manage and continue the fight of countries against corruption. It is the only legally binding anti-corruption instrument in the world.
The United Nations in Somalia appreciates the Federal Government's commitment to implement reforms to strengthen governance and reduce vulnerabilities to corruption. This commitment is evidenced by the appointment of commissioners of the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission in May 2021.
“We urge all branches of government to take more steps to maintain integrity and accountability in the management of finances and public resources by strengthening legal and institutional frameworks against corruption with strict enforcement and punitive measures. "Swan said.
Globally, the International Day Against Corruption is celebrated on December 9 with the aim of raising awareness about corruption problems and the role of the UNCAC in preventing and combating them.
Nigerian youth dominated their contemporaries in Egypt, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa in a month-long hackathon, said the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) .
The hackathon, launched with the aim of helping countries foster innovation among young people and use new technologies in the fight against corruption, received more than 1,700 registrations from young Nigerians.
In a statement issued Friday in Abuja, the UNODC office said the codefest labeled “Coding4Integrity” was one of the ways in which UNODC was actively working to promote the development of sustainable ICT-based anti-corruption solutions. .
He said the event was also ultimately aimed at advancing the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
“Over 1,700 applications were received from Nigeria - the highest number of entries in the five countries participating in the anti-corruption hackathon.
“Twenty teams (out of the 1,700) were selected to participate in the first round of the Hackathon. Of the 20 teams, nine teams moved on to the 2nd phase of the hackathon to present their ideas to a panel of local and international jurors, ”he said.
Quoting Lanre Olaniyan, a representative of SoftStructures, one of the event's sponsors, the hackathon will help bridge the digital divide currently plaguing technological development in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“The hackathon offers young and adventurous software developers / engineers opportunities to show off their skills, logical thinking and technological approach to contemporary issues affecting humanity.
“It allows participants to show their talents to other enthusiasts and industry players who can help them develop their skills or the solutions offered from the hackathon to unprecedented levels.
"For the 2021 event, we are committed to keeping our pledge of one million naira (1,000,000 N) to the top winners and internship opportunities for the top three winners," he said.
Speaking on the importance of the hackathon, Kwarsen Titus of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, said it will lead many African countries to establish e-government services.
He observed that such services would allow the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to link government functions and procedures, there, accountability and transparency.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the coding4integrity hackathon will be the third justice-related hackathon in which young Nigerians will participate with the support of UNODC since 2019.
The Economic and Crimes , Ibadan Zonal Office, says it secured 171 convictions out of the 268 corruption related cases prosecuted in the last 11 months.
Mr Friday Ebelo, the Head of the Commission’s Zonal Office in Ibadan, made the disclosure on Monday in Ibadan during a news conference to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Day.
The Nigeria News Agency recalls that some countries of the world came together under the auspices of the United Nations to pass the Against in December 2003.
In the last one year, particularly from January 2019 till date, the zone received 691 petitions; 213 of these were returned unapproved as issues raised therein did not fall under the purview of our mandate.
‘’In the course of investigations, the zone arrested 878 persons out of which 268 were prosecuted and 171 convicted,” he said.
Ebelo said that the zonal office of the commission also recovered huge sums of money in both local and foreign currencies from January till date.
These include a total of N211,134,927.26 (Two Hundred and Eleven Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Four thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Six kobo).
For the foreign currencies, we had $136,289 (One Hundred and Thirty-Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighty-Nine United States Dollars), €2000 (Two Thousand Euros) and £765 (Seven Hundred and Sixty-Five British Pounds).
Our investigations also led to temporary freezing of 1044 bank accounts, while 56 automobiles and 14 houses were impounded.
‘We equally have several laptops, android phones and many other electronic devices confiscated in compliance with court orders,” he said.
The EFCC Zonal head called on Nigerians to stand to be counted in the fight against corruption, saying “corruption poses existential threat to individual and nation’s survival.
We must personalise the fight against the monster if we truly desire a corruption-free Nigeria. We can’t sit on the fence and expect success in this campaign.
We must all get involved. It is a winnable war if only we show doggedness and commitment,” he said.
Ebelo said that the last one year witnessed a beehive of activities with unprecedented successes, adding the zone contributed its modest quota to the global fight against corruption.
He said that the event was global and the essence was to enlist all stakeholders to collectively and individually get involved in the fight against corruption for the good and progress of mankind.
“As you all know, much more than before, the EFCC has upped the ante of the anti-corruption campaign in our country with verifiable evidence to prove that our efforts are yielding positive results,” he said.
(Edited by: Bayo Sekoni/Mufutau Ojo)
Efforts to tackle corruption, especially the recovery of assets transferred abroad, remained a challenge and require global cooperation, the chief of a leading anti-corruption organisation has said.
Martin Kreutner, dean and executive secretary of the Austria-based International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), told Xinhua in a recent interview that inspite of the difficulties, he believed the international community still has much in common in fighting corruption.
The seventh session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) was held in Vienna earlier this month to discuss anti-corruption issues, in particular asset recovery.
Kreutner said the increasing number of members to the UNCAC shows that corruption and bribery in all their forms must be fought.
This, he said, creates a specific target and represents a way forward.
“International asset recovery is one of the major issues on the agenda to combat global corruption”, he said.
Kreutner called it a sensitive topic as often stolen assets are taken abroad.
Some states are reluctant to return them, especially when there is no guarantee that the returned assets will not be appropriated once again by the vicious circle of corruption.
Kreutner attributed the current low rate of asset recovery due to it being a multilateral process that required patience in negotiations.
First, he said, charges have to be pursued to establish the assets were stolen and then the law has to be applied.
He said currently, there is no single, commonly accepted mechanism to facilitate the procedure.
However, the Vienna conference, he said, saw some progress, including the adoption of a resolution on the recovery of stolen assets.
Kreutner said fighting corruption was also about making sure that countries had proper laws.
Cooperation and the establishment of proper mechanisms would see greater mutual legal assistance between countries, and cooperation in law enforcement and cracking down on transnational corruption cases.
Kreutner also said that besides sanctions against wrong doers, there should also be a system of rewards or incentives for those who follow the law.
Speaking specifically of China’s efforts to crack down on corruption, Kreutner noted that much has been undertaken and achieved.
“It is… pretty obvious that the government…and also the institutions mean business,” he said
China is especially interested in having fugitives repatriated and brought to justice, he added.
Kreutner said there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Chinese students enrolling at his Laxenburg-based academy for its master’s courses.
Kreutner said the IACA is also pursuing a formal cooperation agreement with some Chinese universities, which would include joint training activities that could be conducted in China too.