CIFCFIN Partners IPAC to Vet Credentials of Political Candidates Before Primaries

Bennett Oghifo

The Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria (CIFCFIN) is partnering with the Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC) to ensure that candidates standing for elections across party lines have genuine credentials.

In line with this, the institute would deploy cutting edge forensic tools to vet and authenticate certificates of aspirants before primary elections.

During the 2019 Bayelsa State gubernatorial election, the deputy governor-elect was disqualified for presenting forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which led the opposition party’s candidate to be sworn in as governor.

CIFCFIN President, Dr. Iliyasu Gashinbaki, who stated this recently during the institute’s 7th direct membership graduation ceremony and award of Fellowship at EFCC Academy, Abuja, said such a situation would be a thing of the past.

“The institute has decided to tackle the issue of fake credentials which has brought a lot of shame and disgrace to our country once and for all. We live in a country where tax clearance certificates, academic institutions credentials and even our passports can easily be forged.

“So the institute took it upon itself that this would be our contribution as this administration marks one year in office, that we will put an end to this and we have taken far reaching steps to ensure it happens across board,” he declared.

Gashinbaki, also disclosed that the institute, during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Internal Affairs recently, highlighted forensic and fraud investigative techniques vital in maintaining and managing Nigeria’s identity management system to block and prevent fraudulent activities such as identity theft and data breaches to ensure that the identity management system is secure and reliable.

“The Institute discussed various ways of partnering with the Ministry and agencies under it such as National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to provide forensic technical support in this area,” he added.

The President said the partnership would enhance the credibility of identity management and rebuild Nigeria’s international image, “which is essential for various socio-economic activities, including banking, voting, and accessing government services.”

According to a report on identity fraud cases in West Africa by Ask Nigeria, the country ranks 9th in Africa for multiple attempted frauds on national ID cards with an 18 per cent fraud rate.

Also speaking, CIFCFIN Registrar/Chief executive, Dr. Isa Salifu, said the institute intends to practically encourage, support and expose members to the use of Artificial Intelligence in the conduct of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigations to nip corruption and all manner of fraudulent activities in Nigeria in the bud.

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