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Forensic and Investigative Auditors respond to ICAN over Bill passage

Dr.(Mrs.) Enape, Pro-tem President of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN)

RE-MISLEADING INFORMATION DIRECTED AT THE BILL TO ESTABLISH THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATIVE AUDITORS OF NIGERIA BY THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF NIGERIA (ICAN)

Below is our fact check and point by point counter to misleading information directed against the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria’s Bill.

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INTRODUCTION: It will be recalled that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Thursday 5th July, 2018, passed the Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (Establishment, Etc.) Bill, based on merit, and as the practice, it was transmitted to the House of Representatives for CONCURRENCE.  For the benefit of hindsight, it would also be recalled that before the passage of the Bill by the Senate, an all-inclusive public hearing was conducted on the Bill whereby all stakeholders, including Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) were invited to make their presentations for and against the passage of the Bill.  Majority of the stake holders supported the Bill including Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN). For this feat, well-meaning Nigerians as well as those that understand the importance of Forensic and Investigative Auditing in modern day systematic approach to tackle fraud, corruption and cybercrimes, which has assumed sophistication due to advancement in technology, wholeheartedly commended the Senate for taken this legislative bold step, which would no doubt impact positively on the way and manner the forensic and Investigative auditing system would be carried out in the country.

ICAN’s false allegations and claims not strange to CIFIAN. They came up with same allegation at the Senate purposely to scuttle the Bill due to gridlines; self-interest and fear of being exposed of their wrong accounting practices which have contributed to the collapse of many corporate organisations in Nigeria. ICAN want to be the one to prepare books of account, audit it and also be the one to carry out forensic fraud investigation of the same account prepared and audit by them. This will always lead to conflict of interest. ICAN cannot be the judge in his own case. This is what it has been doing that led us into this sorry state of one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

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First and foremost, I wish to bring to your knowledge that the antics of ICAN was deployed when the Bill was before the Senate, but when the Senate realized that it was just a ploy by them to stop the passage of the Bill as they did against the passage of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) Act and the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CITN) Act which they failed, the Senate passed the Bill eventually to put a stop to manipulation of accounting facts and figures by accountants over the years and  prevent fraud, corruption and cybercrimes in Nigeria. All issues raised and the worn out arguments by ICAN at the Senate were trashed out before the passage of the Bill. The same issues that were trashed out at the Senate were exactly what ICAN decided to present again before the House of Representatives. It is however unfortunate that the House of Representatives were not well informed on the name CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATIVE AUDITORS OF NIGERIA, and that is why they were deceived by ICAN. ICAN should know that the world is watching their activities and posterity will judge every action of any man or group of persons that conspired to bring Nigeria that belong to all us ten steps backward based on sentiment and corruption. For the House of Representative to decline CONCURRENCE on the Bill that has already been passed by the Senate, due to the deception of ICAN because their members are about 29 in House of Representatives remain a thing of concern.

 

CLERIFICATIONS:

We are inclined to offer some clarifications so that the House of Representatives and the whole world would discern between the truth and deliberate efforts of ICAN to thwart the noble course that is beyond an individual or personal and parochial interests. CIFIAN Bill is for the benefit of the whole Nigerians, and should not be toiled with by any persons or a group. It is on record that NO government organisation is against CIFIAN Bill, yet ICAN a professional body decided to scuttle the Bill by deceiving the House of Representatives even when the Bill was passed by the Nigerian Senate. This is rather unfortunate.

1. On the alleged Falsehood by ICAN to deceive House of Representatives: It is our submission that contrary to the claim that the international Federation of Forensic Accountants and Auditors (IFFAA) is a creation of the promoters of CIFIAN Bill, available facts indicates that existence of International of Federation of Forensic Accountants and Auditors(IFFAA) predates the formation of CIFIAN in Nigeria, and the website quoted http//theiffa.org has no direct or indirect link to CIFIAN and its promoters rather it is the ICAN members fabricated website. CIFIAN is not yet a member of IFFAA until the Bill is signed into law. After all ICAN did not become a member of International of Federation Accountants IFAC on its arrival in 1965.

Institute of Forensic Auditors of Zimbabwe, International Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants, USA, and Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan etc are members of International Federation of Forensic Accountants and Auditors (IIFAA). See. www.ifa.global.org, www.iicfaglobal.com. www.ifap.org.pk

2. Contrary to the assertion that there is no separate body for forensic auditors in other countries according to ICAN,

Available facts indicates as follows;

UNITED KINGDOM

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) established by royal charter in 1880, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants ( ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountant(CIMA) exists separate from Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, founded in 1948 but granted royal charter in 2010, Forensic Auditors Certification Board of England and Wales (FACB), UK established in 2016 . www.facb.uk  and Network of independent forensic accounting. www.nifa.co.uk

ZIMBABWE:

Institute of Forensic Auditors of Zimbabwe (IFAZ). www.ifa.global The Institute of Forensic Auditors of Zimbabwe (IFAZ) is the sole and leading professional body of forensic auditors in Zimbabwe. Its members are certified as “Registered Forensic Auditors (RFA)”.IFA of Zimbabwe has an Advisory Council headed by a President who oversees the affairs of the Institute nationally, regionally and internationally. This is different from accounting bodies in Zimbabwe.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) exists separately from American Board of Forensic Accountants (ABFA) established in 1993 www.abfa.us, the International Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants,(IICFA) – USA formerly (Association of Chartered Certified Forensic Accountants, www.iicfaglobal.com. (ACCFA) is an international organization for Forensic Accountants. The IICFA credentials are the global standard for Forensic Accounting Education, Certification and Accreditation globally. IICFA is also a pioneer member of the International Federation of Forensic Accountants and Auditors, (IFFAA) National Association of Forensic Accountants (NAFA) www.nafanet.com. It is different from America Institute of Certified Public Accountants. NAFA is one of the oldest and was founded in 1991 distinct from accounting bodies in USA. NAFA provides training and certify forensic accountant professionals in USA. International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals, USA. www.iicfip.org.

PAKISTAN: 

Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP). www.ifap.org.pk The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) is the founder/pioneer member of The International Federation of Forensic Accountants & Auditors (IFFAA) and Forensic Auditors Certification Board- England & Wales UK (FACB).Institute of Internal Auditors founded in 1948 but granted royal charter in 2010. This is different from the Chartered Accountant of Pakistan.

KENYA

Kenya Institute of Forensic Auditors (KeIFA):

This is a Premier Anti-Financial Fraud Organization in Kenya providing forensic investigations/ audits solution. This is distinct from the Chartered Accountants of Kenya.

SOUTH AFRICA

Institute of Forensic Accountants, South Africa.

This is organization that certify forensic Accountants of South Africa, and it is different from Accounting bodies in South Africa. This is different from the Accounting professional body in South Africa.

Institute of Certified Forensic Accountant of Ghana

This is located at 17, 13TH street, new Achimota , ACCRA, Accra, Ghana-www.icfagh.org This is different from Accounting body in Ghana.

CANADA:

Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants (ICFA) : www.forensicglobal.org. This is different from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. This is a professional body for those committed to the development of the multidisciplinary profession of forensic accounting. The aim is to promote and develop the profession of forensic accountancy to the public and to those people involved in providing forensic advice and guidance to their clients.

3. Contrary to assertion that global Best Practices do not support people who had not studied a field to specialize:

Members of CIFIAN are mostly PhD holders and Professors in the relevant fields with a sound professional background forensic and investigative auditors within and without. The Chief promoter happened to be the first Nigerian that authored a book on Forensic Auditing in Nigeria. (PRACTICAL STEPS TO FORENSIC AUDITING AND FRAUD INVESTIGATION). ICAN members largely depend on this book for knowledge in forensic today in Nigeria by the grace of God. Members of CIFIAN are trained before certification and every reasonable Nigerians with sound motive can bear us witness about this. Entering qualification of CIFIAN members is clear in the proposed CIFIAN Bill, and we only accept professionals with first degree in the relevant fields for our chartered membership who must undergo our training before certification. Visit our website www.cifian.org. Having said that, I want the world to know that ICAN President and his council members do not have certification in forensic that qualifies to talk about forensic and investigative auditing. Accounting knowledge only cannot be used to practice this specialised area. I think they need more education on what this emerging trend is all about to avoid watching their dirty linen in the public, like what they have been doing, and to protect professionalism in Nigeria. ICAN is not a regulatory body to forensic, and so has no right to detect to Forensic professionals on the criteria for membership, because ICAN cannot give what they don’t have.

Note: Distinction must be made between the federal constitutions of India and the United States of America and that of Nigeria. In the former, the power to grant licence for the practice of a profession is vested under the regional government so the regional governments’ grants such license to private institutions to take charge of specific disciplines. Such institutes are however licensed to exist separate as you have in the case of the Institute of Cost Accountant, India. The assertion that such institutions are backed by legislation is an erroneous reading of the constitutions of the other federal states. It should be clarified that under the Nigerian Constitution, it is within the exclusive powers of the National Assembly to grant parliamentary charter to certain professions as they emerge. See section 4 of the constitution and item 49 on exclusive list to the Constitution in other jurisdictions:

I hereby state categorically that professional accounting bodies in America don’t have enabling legislation, including the first professional body called American Certified Public Accountant (ACPA), and that is why ICAN operate there without passing through parliament. They are independent self-regulatory bodies operating under the general laws of the states in America. They have their own principles of practice and codes of professional ethics. The American Institute of certified public accountants (AICPA) is governed by a board of directors and the council. The same thing with American board of forensic accounting and certified board of fraud examiners to mention but a few

Different countries have different approaches to legalizing, regulating and certifying professional bodies, regardless of their nature. The Nigerian Constitution bestows the responsibility and power to enact laws for professional bodies upon the National Assembly. Whereas in the USA and most North American and European countries, that responsibility belongs to specific agencies of Government, not the National Parliament. Thus, in various States in America several forensic and investigative auditing bodies as well as forensic accounting bodies such as Centre for Audit Quality, International Institute of Forensic Accounting, USA exist as separate and distinct bodies from Accounting Institutes such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and it’s noteworthy that each State operates independently of the other, despite being a uniform qualification

What is generally conceded and empirically observed is that there is a global determination to root out corruption, fraud, money laundering, white collar crime and cybercrimes in any way the country deems expedient, including new legislations to deal with the monster. Jurisdictions that have strong legal institutions with very low tolerance for fraud, corruption and associated vices employ these without any qualms, irrespective of the person. In those climes, the law and the implementation process are no respecter of persons. Examples include China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, South American countries, and the Western World in general. Some African countries (South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Rwanda, Ghana, to name a few) have equally adopted strong punitive deterrent to corruption, fraud and related vices in their jurisdictions.

Recent corrupt cases of Jacob Zuma, immediate past President of South Africa, LuizInácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s former president, Park Geun-hye former South Korean President (the first woman to be elected as President of South Korea) and a number of similar cases in other countries with strong legal systems and strong deterrent are a pointer to the fact that different strokes for different folks.

4. On the alleged contradiction in the Bill by ICAN:

Please take note of our earlier submission in 3 above and not further that CIFIAN is neither an accounting body or a prosecuting body in the standing of the EFCC and the ICPC. CIFIAN only desire a legal framework for providing skills to those that will practice Forensic fraud investigation in Nigeria to avoid quark practice. Note that while it may be correct to say that accountants in Nigeria are auditors, nothing in the principal Accountancy legislation permits accountants to practice auditing in all forms. Therefore, I want you to know that Accountant is an Auditor but an Auditor must not be an Accountant and I expect people to make private search and verify this truth before making comments.

CIFIAN type of audit is not the same with ICAN. ICAN is only being afraid of the dart of forensic and would want to do everything possible to claim it and prevent Nigerians from discovering their wrong accounting practices that have contributed in grounding Nigeria economy. Right now ICAN is amending its Act to include Forensic Accounting which CIFIAN is not against, because ours is Forensic and Investigative Audit and not accounting. This shows the ignorance of ICAN on this specialised area called Forensic and Investigative Auditing.

Why must ICAN used every means to stop Forensic and Investigative Audit Bill just to enable them amend their Bill to include forensic, when they knows quiet alright that their enabling act does not have forensic? The world is watching the drama, and CIFIAN is also waiting to see how the House of Representative will reconcile this kind of injustice of ICAN.

ICAN has no moral justification to warn against quackery on the profession they know nothing about. Who made ICAN a regulatory body of CIFIAN. ICAN’s Act of 1965 does not contain forensic and Investigative Auditing. Therefore ICAN should distance itself from CIFIAN Bill if there is nothing they are trying to hide.

Auditor(s) as used in the CIFIAN Bill and whether there is any conflict between the CIFIAN Bill and extant Accounting legislations.

 

Meaning of Audit:

No conflict at all, because the word audit is not reserved for Accountants only. The word ‘Audit’ means to analyze and evaluate something. An ‘Auditor’ is one who analyses and evaluates something and issues an opinion on same. The term ‘Auditor’ applies in a broad spectrum of human endeavours to wit: Besides, CIFIAN is not just all about forensic auditing but it is Forensic Auditing and Investigation. This field cannot be for only accountants due to the nature of work involve in Forensic and investigative auditing. Forensic and Investigative Auditing is a combination of Auditing, Law, criminology, Accounting, Science and technology, investigators, detectives.

In the case of ICAN members that practice auditing, it is only the object clause of the Firm that describes them as auditors because they analyze and evaluate something which in this case is financial records. But Forensic and Investigative auditors are fraud auditors needed only when fraud is suspected, and their work mostly end in court, where they serve as expert witness to assist in the administration of justice leading to the prosecution of people involve in fraud of all kinds.

5. On alleging awarding Membership before Legislative Approval as alleged by ICAN.

Before 1965 when ICAN Bill was passed by the Parliament, how many members did they have? Was ICAN membership zero before they became chartered? Did the promoters fold their hands doing nothing before the body became chartered? All CFIAN activities are done in good faith expecting legislative backing. It should be noted that ICAN itself started as a registered body and enrolled members before it was granted parliamentary recognition as a profession.  Those who were members of ICAN prior to legislative recognition are deemed ICAN members and not deemed to violating the law.

Firstly, it is a settled law that words contained in a Bill or statute of Parliament may bear a restricted meaning based on the object of the whole Bill in which it is used.  This is essentially the Principle of interpretation known as the noscitur a sociis which simply means that the meaning of an unclear word or phrase must be determined by the words immediately surrounding it. In the words of Stamp J in the case of Bourne v. Norwich Crematorium Ltd (1875) QB 594, “English words derive their colour from those which surround them”.

From the above therefore, it is clear that the word ‘’ Auditor” in the CIFIAN Bill is used in association with or in the context of forensic investigation and not accounting while Accounting within the meaning of section 19 of the ICAN Act is used in connection with financial audit hence the expression “accountant include auditor”. Unlike accounting, the primary domain of forensic and investigative auditing is to deploy technology at the scene of fraud or other fraud to unravel information and forensic evidence needed for prosecution of fraud corruption and cyber crimes. The core practice areas of the members of the proposed CIFIAN are forensic analysis to prevent assets misappropriation scams; global anti-corruption compliance and enforcement; litigation support and investigation capacities, preparation of forensic reports and to serve as expert witness in the court of competent jurisdiction.

Secondly, it should be clarified that the word “auditor” is not exclusively reserved for the use of Accountants who engage in financial statement audit, popularly called external auditor or statutory auditor. Accountant is an Auditor, but an auditor must NOT be an accountant, and that is why we have

  • Personnel auditors,
  • Environmental auditor,
  • Energy auditor,
  • Security auditor,
  • Information auditor etc

It is misleading to say that globally Institutes of Forensic Auditors are not passed through the National Assembly to be chartered.  We have already given examples of several of them above including the Chartered Institute of Auditors was founded in the UK in 1948 and granted royal charter in 2010

Similarly, it must be added that professional bodies exists to promote specialization.  ICAN established by their enabling statutes is responsible for the practice of Accountancy (including audit – financial audit) but and not forensic science or audit in all its ramifications such as energy audit, personnel audit, security audit etc.  To give the ICAN Act such a meaning will be tantamount to reading into the Act what has been excluded.

Please note from that above the following-

  • That we are in agreement that forensic investigators exists in several disciplines so it will be misleading to allow accountants to lay exclusive use of Accountants.
  • Passing the bill will not lead to multiplicity of professional bodies because the Bill intends to promote interdisciplinary collaboration
  • The Bill can be passed in its present form because the word auditor as used in the Bill carry a meaning associated to forensic and Investigators and not audit as used in the ICAN Act.
  • It is important to pass this Bill to save Nigeria scarce foreign exchange expended annually on hiring foreign experts on forensic and Investigative science. Indeed, if ICAN has been able to license forensic and Investigative Auditors as they claimed, then question is why is fraud and white collar crimes are on the rise in Nigeria is still relying on foreign experts in the field of Forensic and Investigative Auditing? This is one of the many questions begging for answers.

ICAN HAS NO RIGHT TO ATTACK CIFIAN BILL:

Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) has no moral right to warn against what it characterizes “proliferation of accountancy bodies in Nigeria”. It shows their wicked, unbridled and opportunistic desire to monopolize the accounting and even what is outside their area of practice in Nigeria. It was the same strong-arm tactic which they tried to muscle the Nigerian University System in the education and training of accountants in Nigerian universities, but the National Universities Commission (NUC) denied them that monopoly aspiration. ICAN did the same thing against the establishment of ANAN bill, and they woefully failed in that voyage. ICAN used the same worn-out argument against the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) bill, whose promoters were mostly their members, to frustrate the passage of the CITN bill, and they again failed in their enterprise. Now, they have started in their usual futile, circumlocutory fashion to frustrate the passage of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIA bill).

The question to ask ICAN is: Where have they been with their professional excellence when Nigeria has been burning with fire of corruption, bribery, fraud, money laundering and financial crime which have for long ravaged our economy and dwarfed development? Is it not the case, as shown by empirical research and legal pronouncements that these social vices that led to the collapse and failure of many companies were aided and abetted by invidious and insidious accounting practices by the so-called ‘know-it-all’ accountants? In fact, ICAN and their cohort should be hiding their faces in shame because it is their reprehensible and opprobrious accounting practices that largely contributed to the failure of corporate governance and failure of many large corporate organizations, with devastating consequences. Had they been altruistic and less opportunistic in their practices, the corruption perception index of Nigeria would not be as bad as it is and has been over the years.

The contextual background to the heightened interest in the war against corruption, fraud and cybercrimes is traceable to corporate governance concern of at least three antecedent kinds.

First, the corporate failures became scandalous not only because of the characteristics of the companies (size, age and their reported past successes) that collapsed and their multiplier effect on national and global economies, “but also because of the discovery that questionable accounting practices were far more insidious and widespread than previously envisioned”. Their financial statements were all prepared and audited by ICAN and their counterparts elsewhere.

Second, the plethora of incriminating evidence linking these egregious accounting practices to the corporate scandals and failures led to a number of national and global corporate governance initiatives. Arthur Andersen, one of the largest 4 accounting firms in the world, is a classic case of the opportunistic practices of accountancy firms. Prior to the fall of Arthur Andersen, accountants have historically had a determinative role in fostering investor confidence and public trust through audit reports. Many large audit firms, like Arthur Andersen, had embarked on an income trajectory that placed premium on hefty audit fees over trust and accountability, and quality and honest accounting. The implication of Arthur Andersen’s (and other ICAN firms’) opprobrious accounting practices on the accounting practice opened the regulatory eyes of most countries to the jiggery-pokery of the so-called practice.

Let’s pause for a second and ponder these questions: How can a country of nearly 200 million people (198 million by the most recent estimate of the Nigerian Population Commission and projected to be the world’s 3rd largest population by 2050, that’s in the next 32 years) feel happy and occupationally contented with just 2 professional accounting bodies? Smaller countries have over 10 professional accounting bodies. For over 50 years of its existence, ICAN has produced less than 100,000 accountants that is roughly 1 accountant to nearly 2,000 Nigerians. Now, if you add foreign businesses in Nigeria, that figure will even recede. So, where lies the mediocrity they are talking about? Who among them is more qualified than the promoters of CIFIAN bill? Is it not the same argument of mediocrity that they used against promoters of ANAN and CITN bills? They even took ANAN to court and lost all their cases. Today, they are wining and dining on the same table.

Another question of interest is this: Since there are 2 professional accounting bodies – ICAN and ANAN – and the other, ANAN is largely in support of the CIFIAN bill, what professional disenfranchisement will ICAN suffer as a result of the CIFIAN bill? How and why have they suddenly woken up from 53 years of slumber to the reality of forensic and investigative auditing? How can they regulate the preparation of corporate financial accounts, perform the audit and at the same time conduct the forensic and investigative audit of corrupt and fraudulent accounting practices thereof? It’s like the National Assembly setting up its Executive and Judicial arms within itself, or any of the other arms procuring the services of the others into its governance structure. ICAN wants to be a judge in its own court. That’s what they have been doing over the years that put us in this sorry state of one of the most corrupt nations in the world.

Conclussion;

The Honourable House is implored to note that this current ICAN move is in their character; it is their historicity, their known political treachery, gimmicks and jiggery-pokery. They should be stopped from their desire to suppress the will of majority of Nigerians which was loudly expressed at the public hearing and the overwhelming voices of support for the passage of the bill for the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria at the Senate. ICAN is completely ignorant of what CIFIAN bill is out to achieve in Nigeria, that is why they are insulting the promoters of the bill.

 

We do not have the resources and largesse to dispense within fighting ICAN and their cohort to build a case which, in all good conscience, is to the benefit of our beloved country. We thought our trust in the credibility of the House of Representative was enough for the concurrence of our Bill, but unfortunately they were deceived by ICAN and that made them to deviate from the truth already established by the Nigerian Senate. We never knew that they could be deceived by ICAN and their cohort any way. With this we think that the House of Representatives need more education on the Forensic and Investigative Auditing since it is an emerging trend. The Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors (CIFIAN) bill speaks eloquently to the provision of Section 15(5) which specifies that “The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power”. We ask: if ICAN has been doing its job with professional excellence and dexterity – devoid of bribery and corruption and fraud – the insertion of Section 15(5) would have been superfluous, redundant and of no consequence. But, as we now know, the chicken has come home to roost.

It is unfortunate that the Honorable members are not aware of the deception devices of ICAN who is always against any new professional bodies coming up in Nigeria. ICAN has acquired this reputation of fighting every professional body relating to Accounting in Nigeria over the years. Below are the lists of professional bodies they fought and failed;

✓ Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)

✓ Chartered Institute of Taxation (CITN)

✓ Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN)

Meaning of ICAN:

NOTE: ICAN means Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and NOT Institute of Chartered Auditors, let alone forensic. Therefore, auditors in our name should not be a headache of ICAN. After all, Taxation is mentioned in ICAN Act, but today we have Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).

Please, Honourable members should discountenance the antics of ICAN who does not have the interest of our dear country at heart; rather they are always looking for self-interest which is destructive the Nigerian economy. The Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors Bill is for the interest of Nigeria and the future generation which is more than any parochial interest.

I wish to also bring to the notice of the Nigerians and the world that, accounting profession has so many branches with different responsibilities. Each of these branches has professional bodies regulating their activities. For instance, Financial Accounting   for preparation of financial statements, regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN). Taxation for preparation of income statement for tax purposes, regulated by Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).  Cost and Management Accounting for preparation of cost estimates and establishment of weakness and strength of an organization, regulated by Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Auditing has no professional body regulating it, given the opportunity for financial accountants to claim autonomy and as the matter of fact leads to the inability of Nigerians to control and prevent fraud, corruption and other cybercrimes.  It is only a mad man that will keep doing the same thing, same method year after year and expect a different result.

It is wrong for Financial Accountants to regulate the preparation of corporate financial accounts, perform the audit and at the same time conduct the forensic and investigative audit of corrupt and fraudulent accounting practice created by them. It’s like the National Assembly setting up its Executive and Judicial arms within itself, or any of the other arms procuring the services of the others into its governance structure, and this will always lead to conflict of interest. That is why we have the three arms of government. In the same way we have office of the Accountant General of the Federation separately from the office of the Auditor General of for the Federation. This implies that one prepares the book of accounts while the other audit the account for the purpose of check and balances. Now forensic fraud investigation cannot be carried out by the same people that caused it in the first place, but should be done by independent forensic and investigative auditors to avoid conflict of interest.

From our experience with ICAN on CIFIAN Bill, we discovered that ICAN is no more a professional body but a political party, because of the obvious lies conveyed to scuttle CIFIAN’s Bill at all cost. This is rather unfortunate. Nigeria belongs to all us and not for only ICAN. ICAN is not God and that is our confidence. After all It is Federal Republic of Nigeria and NOT Federal Republic of ICAN. Therefore, the world must hear about CIFIAN and its mission for Nigeria must be accomplished no matter the forces, because vision is but for an appointed time, we wait for it and it shall speak out loud one day.

I humbly submit.

Dr. (Mrs.) Enape Victoria Ayishetu, PhD, FCFIA, FCNA,FCTI, CPFA,CFE,MNIM

Pro-tem President

Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN)

The author of a book titled Practical Step to Forensic Auditing and Fraud Investigation.

19th April, 2019

www.cifian.org

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