The Senate on Wednesday screened Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye as chairmanship nominee for the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).
The nominee, if approved, will take over from Ekpo Nta, whose five-year tenure expired in June and who has been redeployed to the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages as a full-time commissioner.
Owasanoye may become the fourth substantive chairman of the commission since it was established by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in 1999. The past chairmen were Mustapha Akanbi and Emmanuel Ayoola (both justices) and Mr. Nta.
The screening conducted by the Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, was also conducted for eight nominees as members of the board.
The nominees are Dr. Grace Chinda (Delta), Okolo Titus-(Enugu) Abiora Iqwedebia (Anambra) and Mrs. Olubukola Balogun (Lagos).
Others are Justice Adamu Bello (Katsina), Hannatu Muhammad (Jigawa), Abdullahi Maikanu Saidu (Niger) and Yahaya Umah Daudu (Nasarawa).
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi, cautioned the nominees against exhibiting attributes that could demean the credibility, value and prestige of the ICPC. He urged them to be prepared for the job ahead if eventually confirmed by the Senate, adding they draw inspiration from one another.
“The nominees passed through thorough screening and cross-examination by members of the committee.
Presenting the nominees before the committee, the Presidential Liaison Officer to the National Assembly, Sen. Ita Enang, appreciated the committee for its commitment.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to choosing Nigerians of good character to work for the interest and progress of the country. The president on July 25, requested the senate to confirm the nominees in accordance with provisions of section 38 (6) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission Establishment, Act 2000.
The chairmanship nominee, 54-year old Owasanoye was the executive secretary of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC.
He was appointed in August 2015 to “promote the reform agenda of the government on the anti-corruption effort, advise the present government on the prosecution of the war against corruption and the implementation of required reforms in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.”
He graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1984 at the age of 20 with an LL.B Upper Division and was called to the Bar in 1985. He thereafter went to the University of Lagos where he bagged an LL.M in 1987 at 24.
Professor Owasanoye moved from the University of Lagos where he was assistant lecturer to the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, NIALS where he became a professor of law in 2001 at the age of 38.
He is a specialist in Commercial and International Trade Law, Corporate Law, Child Rights and Human Rights Law and Strategic Governance and the Law of External Debt Management.