The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, has secured permission of the International Police (Interpol), to access its database.
ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, said the Commission will utilise the database to profile Politically Exposed Persons, PEPs, as well as money laundering and illicit financial flows suspects.
The Commission, in a statement that was signed by its spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, disclosed that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Interpol, at the end of a meeting that Heads of Nigerian Law Enforcement Agencies had with top officials of the security agency in Lyon, France.
According to the statement, the Nigerian delegation to Interpol was made up of top officials of the National Central Bureau Abuja (NCBA), Nigeria Police, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) and the ICPC.
“The highpoint of the meeting between the Nigerian delegation and Interpol was the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the international police and ICPC, NFIU, NAPTIP, NDLEA and EFCC which granted the law enforcement agencies access to the organisation’s databases.
“At the meeting, the ICPC boss discussed how the anti-corruption agency and the country could take advantage of the Interpol database in profiling suspects.”
ICPC, through its Chairman, said it would develop the habit of issuing notices, especially on high profile suspects, adding that such notices would be seen globally on PEPs in particular.
“The Chairman also disclosed that the Commission would join the Global Focal Point Network coordinated by Interpol as part of measures to tighten the noose around corrupt and criminal persons.
The Interpol is expected to support the law enforcement agencies in Nigeria through strengthening of information sharing, utilisation of the organisation’s database of global suspects, and prevention of incursion and influx of migrant terrorist fighters into Nigeria.
“The Interpol briefed the Nigerian delegation on Operation Gemini, a special project focusing on trans-border organised crime involving migration, human trafficking, drug trafficking corruption and financial crimes.
“The international police also held special sessions with the delegation which were devoted to international and regional cooperation in law enforcement, operational methods of interpol and strategies for data and informational sharing, Interpol policing capabilities, role of National Central Bureau (NCB) in Nigeria, and Nigeria Border Management strategies, integration of Nigeria Law Enforcement Databases with Interpol NCB.
“Under the MoU signed with the Interpol, the Nigerian law enforcement agencies will have unrestricted access to global criminal databases.
“It is expected that this fresh collaboration will boost the capacity of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to fulfill their mandates”, the statement further read.