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We’ll hunt down agents of financial malpractices

By Ayodele Popoola

The Chairman, Ondo State Public Complaints Financial Crime And Anti-Corruption Commission (ODSPFACC) and immediate past Chief Judge of the state, Justice Williams Akintoroye, has vowed that the Commission would hunt down all agents of financial malpractices in the state.

Justice Akintoroye who disclosed this during the inaugural Press briefing of the Commission on Tuesday, said ODSPFACC was aware of the big assignment to carry out, and would be meticulous in its approach.

He revealed that corruption as described by the US President Joe Biden, is a cancer; a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity, noting that it could only be treated by transparency.

He added that the Commission is manned by people of high integrity, and will not compromise its integrity, saying all petitions will be treated equally and investigated thoroughly.

The former CJ stressed that it would not be a business as usual for corrupt persons in the state, adding that Section 39 empowers the Commission to issue an invitation directed to a person complained against, or any other person to attend before the commission.

According to him, the enactment in 2022, of the Law the sets up the Commission was the first time a separate body would be established in the state to fight corruption and other matters relating thereto, even as he said the Commission welcomes petitions from the public.

It would be recalled that ODSPFACC was established on January 10, 2022, to combat corruption in the state, including bribery, fraud, undue influence, gratification and other related offences.

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The Chairman added that the Commission has so far received one petition which will be thoroughly investigated without fear of favour.

The retired Chief Judge explained that the Commission which was inaugurated on March 7, 2023, has a Mission to rid Ondo State of corruption and criminal activities relating to finance.

“As a pioneer anti-corruption body in Ondo State, our primary mandate is to curb the devastating effect of corruption. This we hope to pursue professionally in line with best practices. We will maintain our integrity by acting impartially, with commitment and in the interest of the Public. As a Commission, we will be bold and pragmatic in our actions and decisions.

“Fight corruption demands a continuous review of tools, strategies and approaches. Sequel to this, we believe our mandate include prevention of crime through system study and review; public education through creation of awareness, enlisting of youths and students as members of anti-corruption clubs or vanguard, which we plan to establish in institutions of learning in Ondo state.

“Our aim for desiring this approach is to prevent, or reduce to the barest minimum the rate at which crime or corrupt practices are committed in this state.

“Corruption is not limited to Government officers. It is prevalent even in open market and places of worship. Ditto with financial crime, which is no longer limited to the political class and public servants. This is why it is imperative to create an environment that enables strong and independent institutions like ours that provide oversight of government activities and the general public”, Akintoroye stressed.

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He particularly solicited the cooperation of the media, the security and law enforcement agencies and other relevant stakeholders to have a fraud free society.

The Secretary to the Commission, Prof. Adewole Adeyeye, emphasised that the Commission will work to achieve its mandate in the state.state. Other members of the Commission are former Permanent Secretary, Pharmacist Funmi Osundolire, and Barrister Cosmos Ogungbemi.

A minute silence was also observed in honour of late Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu who established the Commission.

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