ICPC Chairman, Owasanoye’s Excellent Leadership Landmarks

Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, addressing participants at the Stakeholders' Meeting on Draft Policy on Sexual Harassment held at the Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja on Monday, 28th February, 2022

By Hassan Salihu

Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR), an honourable and highly respectable personality, who was appointed the fourth Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission in February 2019, has received commendations from illustrious Nigerians for the giant strides recorded by the Commission under his watch. Owasanoye’s successful tenure has been marked by a historical change of course on which superlative achievements of the ICPC depend.

As the head of Nigeria’s principal anti-corruption agency, the Chairman’s pragmatic leadership style, which is one of the most important aspects determining the overall success of the ICPC, has been adjudged to be a game-changer. Owasanoye’s unique approach to anti-corruption management has reinforced the purpose of ICPC’s formation and added visibility to its statutory functions.

The leadership style of Professor Owasanoye is with a perfect touch of excellence; combining knowledge and experience to bring to bear the rich vision of making ICPC the most effective anti-graft agency in Nigeria. He is a leader with a clear understanding of the complexity of endemic corruption and the infamy it has caused us.

Under his leadership, the Commission has consistently recorded positive results with the provision of excellent welfare to its staff. The Chairman’s engagement with the board, management and all staff of the Commission has been remarkable and effectively marked by superior managerial skills, patriotic sacrifice, dedication to duty and high performance.

This exceptional strategic approach to leadership is of broad significance, which has positively changed the narrative in the national anti-corruption crusade through a demonstrable commitment to ground-breaking initiatives, technological innovations and programmes. ICPC is therefore hopeful of better years ahead with this solid foundation built by the ICPC fourth board.

The steadiness of qualitative results in IPCC’s sensitisation and mass mobilisation of Nigerians against corruption have far-reaching prestige, good perception and admiration of the general public. The Commission’s net achievements under Professor Owasanoye have been perceived by numerous public commentators and analysts to have changed the wrong perception of the Commission’s performance.

Today, its operations have been focused and tactfully employing international best practices in the delivery of its statutory functions. The new image built under the fourth chairman has been attracting the recognition and support of several high government functionaries and notable international development partners. Evidently worthy of attention are newspaper editorials which credible national media outfits have written in favour of ICPC.

The uncommon bravery of the ICPC’s leadership has reinvigorated the commission’s enforcement of its mandate, as “untouchables” have been investigated, prosecuted and their assets seized with funds recovered. Today, large sums of funds have been restrained from stealing, saved and recovered in cash and assets for the Federal Government through distinctive display of courage.

Thus, the colossal robbery of the nation’s commonwealth has been facing the brick wall solidly built through numerous corruption prevention interventions, such as System Study and Review, Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking Initiative, Illicit Financial Flows, Risk Assessments etc.

On October 11, 2022, Professor Owasanoye was honoured with the national medal of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) in recognition of his immense contribution to the national anti-corruption crusade.

The current ICPC Chairman began his career with the University of Lagos in 1986 as an Assistant Lecturer and later transferred his service to the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in 1991. In 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Professor of Law with a record of over 100 publications and 10 published books.

Before his appointment as Chairman of ICPC, he had stints at various international institutions, including the Royal Institute of Public Administration in the UK and the International Law Institute in Washington, USA. Owasanoye has presented many papers at United Nations events on the need for the rights of children to be upheld in all the nations of the world.

In addition to this national honour of OFR, the ICPC boss had won several national and international awards, including the University of Lagos Scholarship Award (1986/1987), UN Institute for Training and Research Fellowship Award (1991, 1994), US Information Service International Visitors Award (1991), British Council Fellowship Award (1992) and Senior Special Fellowship, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (2001).

Owasanoye, who hails from Ondo state, will best be remembered as an epitome of integrity that personifies uprightness, patriotism and selflessness in the anti-corruption national service.

Salihu writes from ICPC Headquarters Abuja

24th October, 2023

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