Nigeria is losing trillions to corruption, say forensic experts

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Forensic experts Thursday alleged growing cases of fraud, cybercrime and corruption in the country despite government’s effort to address these problems.

At a press conference in Abuja, the Pro tem President of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria, Ayishetu Enape, said that the country’s loss to corruption “currently is in the region of trillions of naira.”

The institute said: “It is more worrisome to know that despite the Federal Government’s renewed efforts in tackling fraud, corruption and cybercrime, very little result has been achieved, especially in the area of securing conviction against perpetrators of fraud in Nigeria.

“This is because many of the cases, especially the high-profile ones, are either thrown out for want of evidence or are unnecessarily delayed and stuck in court for years, due to one reason or the other,” Enape said.

According to the institute, whose bill awaits assent by President Muhammadu Buhari, forensic investigation remains one of the potent means by which the country can tame the growing cases of fraud, cybercrime and corruption.

Enape stated that fraudsters could only be prevented if those who commit crimes are prosecuted with forensic evidence, stressing that the application of forensic investigation would create no hiding place for corrupt citizens.

Citing data from the Nigerian InterBank Settlement System (NIBBS), which show that Nigerian banks lost N12.30 billions to fraud in the past four years, and other data, which show that fraud volume in the banks increased from N1.461 billion in 2014 to staggering N23.043 billion in 2017, Enape said “the situation right now is worse than the above analysis because fraud volume in Nigeria has now moved to trillions, and no longer in billions.”

On the bill for an act to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN), which is now before the president for assent, Enape said it was important “to clarify that CIFIPN is neither an accounting body nor coming as a duplicate to the functions of any existing accounting bodies in Nigeria.”

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