The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Matters (ICPC) has appointed Rev David Ugolor, the Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), an anti-corruption Watchdog as a member of Assets Disposal Committee pursuant to the implementation of Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) representing Civil Society Organisations.
The anti-graft agency in a letter dated 20 September 2022 and signed by Secretary of the Commission, Prof Musa Usman Abubakar said David Ugolor’s appointment to represent Civil Society is for a period of one year and will serve as an independent Observer as a Civil Society activist.
The letter reads in part, “The Commission pursuant to Section 3(b) (II)-(IV) of the Proceeds of Crime Act, 2022 and in line with the Assets Management and Disposal Guidelines approved by the Chairman has set up mechanisms for transparent and accountable process for asset disposal. A committee of members of the Commission and Management Staff are constituted while members of Civil Society Organisation, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Nigeria Labour Congress and a Director of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) are to serve as Independent Observers.”
Rev David Ugolor, who was recently elected as Vice Chairman of Board of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Coalition of global CSOs in Vienna, Austria has since accepted the appointment and promised to effectively represent Civil Society in the new committee.
“I see this as a call to national service and I have offered to work in this committee as an Independent Observer and hope to bring my wealth of experience in the sector to bear in my role. I sincerely hope that my presence in the committee will help advance the objectives of enactment of POCA,” Ugolor assured.
It will be recalled that the Rev David Ugolor led over 180 Civil Society Organisation that implemented the Monitoring Transparency and Accountability in the Management of Returned Assets (MANTRA) project that monitored Abacha 1 and 2 from Switzerland with support from Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO0 and advocated for the passage of Proceeds of Crime Bill and other anti-corruption Bills into Law from 2018 to 2021.
He is currently leading 8 other Civil Society partner organisations implementing the “Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform Initiatives in Nigeria” project under the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project of Palladium, supported by USAID to also advocate the passage of POCA and are still campaigning for the passage of Witness Protection Bill (2022); and the Whistleblower Protection Bill, (2022) as they are also routing for signing of same Bills into law before the end of the tenure of the present administration.