Members of the All Progressives Congress’ Professionals Forum on Tuesday called on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and other professional bodies to mete out sanctions to indicted members in the fight against corruption.
The development is coming in the wake of allegations that the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, and two co-defendants, Godfrey Akindele and Mohammed Usman, embezzled N109bn.
reported that a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja had, on Thursday, granted a N5bn bail bond to the embattled former Accountant-General of the Federation with two sureties.
Justice Jadesola Adeyemi-Ajayi, while delivering a ruling on the bail application, said despite the allegations against the defendants in the matter, they were entitled to bail.
In a related development, a former board chairperson of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, Ngozi Olejeme, has been accused of mismanaging N1.3 billion in office.
Olejeme’s trial was also adjourned by a Federal High Court in Abuja recently.
Fielding questions from newsmen who wanted to know whether the APC Professionals Forum could push for punitive measures for the indicted officials, former Governor of Bauchi State and leader of the group, Isa Yuguda, explained that they were making efforts to put pressure on associations and trade bodies to kick out members who were found wanting.
He said, “This is one of the reasons the APC Professionals Forum was set up. As professionals, there are rules and regulations governing our certifications. This forum does have members from the Institute of Chartered Accountants, architects, engineers, bankers and others.
“I don’t want to believe these institutes are sleeping. But we are going to take this issue up seriously with all the relevant institutes and professional bodies and those accountants in governments who are kleptomaniacs, who pilfer from where they are not kept. There is a need for these bodies to act swiftly and professionally too.
“There is a reason I said that. For instance, there is no reason for an architect to design a building, an engineer carries out the construction and the building collapses with none of the professionals involved sanctioned.
“That is why we said that we must show that we are professionals and you cannot say I don’t have a deficit of manpower. It is not unusual to see members of political parties to win elections and not have professionals within their midst. That’s why when they form the government, you will find engineers being made ministers of power. Even though in some cases, once you have experience as an administrator and a political edge, you might be able to manoeuvre.
“I think the failure on the part of the professional bodies to enforce discipline has led to a situation where we have accountants feeding from where they are not supposed to, changing signatures and doctoring figures to steal money from taxpayers sweats.”