International Lawyers Project
ILP Partners with Kaduna State Prosecutors to Support Local Anti Corruption Efforts in Nigeria
Corruption is considered endemic in Nigeria, with the country losing approximately $18 billion USD annually to corruption. In fact, Nigeria has never achieved a pass mark on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) since being added in 1995. Despite challenges with enforcement and implementation, Nigeria has introduced an anti-corruption legal framework that includes the 2018 Whistleblower Protection Law and Anti-Corruption Law, which established an Anti-Corruption Unit at the Office of the Attorney-General. Recently, Nigeria passed The Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022, which provides for a legal and institutional framework for the recovery and management of the proceeds of crime. Kaduna State, in particular, has shown commitment to anti-corruption through the establishment of a beneficial ownership register and an automated tax collection process.
ILP has provided long term support in different areas of Nigeria since 2005. Building on that relationship, ILP was happy to receive a request from the Office of the Attorney General in Kaduna State to partner on a series of trainings on various topics. The most recent round of topics were anti-corruption focused. These include: theft of public funds and international asset recovery, liability for corruption offences, complicity of lawyers, national or devolved approaches to addressing corruption and corruption risks and criminal Intelligence and Financial Crime Investigation.
ILP partnered with Covington & Burling LLP for this virtual training led by Ian Hargreaves, with the objective of developing the technical capacity of the prosecutors on the agreed topics. Irene Dery, from Egality Law, provided insights on the Kaduna State anti-corruption laws from a Ghanaian perspective including potential reforms to be incorporated within the legal framework such as an independent office with power to investigate and prosecute cases related to corruption. The training provided an international perspective and best practices on agreed topics. It also supported state-level anti-corruption initiatives and worked toward strengthening state-level public accountability within Kaduna. This included discussion on how assets are recovered at a sub-national level through civil forfeiture and the slow progress of international asset recovery by Nigerian authorities. Other sessions covered evidence required for bribery and corruption offences prosecution, trends and developments in the role of prosecutors, implications of election results on roles of prosecutors, and the placement of Nigeria on the Financial Action Task Force grey list based on its compliance with anti-money laundering provisions. The last session was a topic provided by the Head of the Anti-Corruption Unit within the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice. It specified the processes of transforming data into evidence that can be used to prosecute corruption offences and standards the evidence must meet, specifically using the Serious Fraud Office in the UK.
Participants included prosecutors from various units within the Office of the Attorney General, including the Anti-Corruption Unit, with varying levels of experience and expertise. The prosecutors in the training highlighted the need for further anti-corruption training, given the pervasive nature of corruption and the broad nature required for anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria. Prosecutors particularly emphasised the valuable nature of the training, particularly the portions covering evidence gathering in anti-corruption investigations. All participants polled recommended the training to their colleagues and advocated for expanded training on the topics, specifically on the Nigerian context. ILP looks forward to continuing to partner with governments seeking to strengthen their anti-corruption efforts and reforms towards public accountability.
For the full recording of the workshop click here.
See below for a download link to the presentation slides for the workshop.