The Acting Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Hon. Bako Abdullahi, has called on the government of Switzerland to make the process of repatriating funds stolen from Nigeria easy.
Hon. Abdullahi made this call at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja, recently when he played host to an official of the Swiss Embassy in Abuja Jolanda Pfister Herren, Migration Adviser and two representatives of the Swiss Police Martin Zbinden and Vera Stricker.
He said it has been quite difficult for Nigeria to recover a lot of its stolen money stashed in Switzerland by corrupt government officials.
He however commended the Swiss government for its positive attitude towards the fight against corruption in Nigeria and appealed for it to do more by assisting the Commission in the areas of staff training and equipment for its young Forensic Unit in order to aid the investigation of complex fraud cases with international dimensions.
The leader of the team, Jolanda Pfister Herren, had earlier said their visit was to seek collaboration with the Commission in terms of investigating money laundry, cybercrime and the proceeds of crime involving both countries.
In response the ICPC Acting Chairman expressed the Commission’s readiness to collaborate with them since corruption has assumed an international dimension which no country can tackle on its own.
Briefing the visitors on the operations of the Commission’s Forensic Unit ,the Head, Mr. Lanre Awogbemi, said he was happy to announce that the courts were beginning to accept forensic evidence and that his unit had provided evidence in some cases that have been charged to court by the Commission.
He expressed optimism for the success of the partnership saying it would aid investigators from both countries to gain access to bank records of stolen funds and also enable intelligence-sharing during investigations.