By Kenneth Atavti
Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, has rallied a global action against Illicit Financial Flows (IFF), including a call for a global framework on IFFs similar to corruption.
Prof. Owasanoye made this call at a side event of the ongoing hybrid 54th Conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) taking place in Dakar, Senegal.
The meeting was attended by representatives of member-countries of the Economic Community for Africa, Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies and international bodies, and focused on regional efforts to track, recover and return stolen assets from Africa through the IFFs.
The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. The Convention’s far-reaching approach and mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem. The vast majority of United Nations Member States are parties to the Convention.
Addressing the meeting virtually, the ICPC boss emphasised the need for a global framework on IFFs as part of a determined commitment to tackle the menace.
“The challenge we found ourselves today is that the rules have always been skewed in favour of those who export capital and against those who import capital. Corruption is a global issue and we have a global framework on corruption.
“The IFF is also a global issue but does not have a global framework. A way out of the problem is to institute a global framework on IFF which, among others, will address the huge financial losses suffered by African countries,” the ICPC Chairman stated.
He noted that the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia – Ukraine war have complicated the financial resources of African countries, hence the need to tackle the IFFs and stop further hemorrhage of the financial resources of African countries.