The Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, the ICPC Academy, was established pursuant to Section 6 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 which empowers the Commission to carry out preventive, enforcement and enlightenment functions. By Virtue of the provisions of section 6 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, the Commission is empowered to:
- Receive and investigate complaints from members of the public on allegations of corrupt practices and in appropriate cases prosecute the offenders.
- Examine the practices, systems and procedures of public bodies and where in the opinion of the Commission, such practices systems or procedures aid or facilitate fraud or corruption, to direct and supervise a review of them.
- Instruct, advice and assist any officer, agency or parastatal on ways by which fraud or corruption may be eliminated or minimized by such officer, agency or parastatal.
- Advice heads of public bodies of any changes in practices, systems or procedures compatible with the effective discharge of the duties of the public bodies as the Commission thinks fit, to reduce the likelihood or incidence of bribery, corruption and related offences.
- Educate the public on and against bribery, corruption and related offences and
- Enlist and foster public support in combating corruption.
In order to carry out the above mandate effectively, the Commission must train its officers and other people who will assist in eradicating corruption in the society. The Commission can do this either by spending huge sums of money on training programmes designed by other institutions which might not strictly meet its requirements or establish an outfit which is designed to meet the skills needed for the fight against corruption. This second option is more cost effective, hence the establishment of the Academy.
Thus, it is in order to facilitate the effective implementation of its functions that the Commission decided to establish a training Academy known as the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), to equip its staff with the necessary skills and knowledge that would enable them to perform at required levels. The Academy is also designed to provide training for public officers, public servants and the general public on good governance, accountability, transparency, integrity, ethics and all issues relating to corruption and corrupt practices, as well as build up a body of knowledge that will facilitate the development of knowledge-based anti-corruption policies in the country.
The establishment of ACAN is also partly in fulfillment of Nigeria’s commitment to the global initiative to rid the world of the menace, as the Academy is a key enabling instrument required for the successful implementation of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPACC) as well as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in the country.
With this move, Nigeria has taken its place among the nations that have shown seriousness to tackle corruption under the UNCAC initiative. When the Convention came into force in 2005, it was the first legally binding international anti-corruption instrument, clearly defining corruption in its various forms and setting templates to deal with them through constitutional and legal methods. The Convention required signatory nations to implement a wide range of measures in areas such as law enforcement, asset recovery, mobilization of stakeholders and international co-operation, for the overall success of the national and global anti-corruption campaign.
The challenge posted by this agenda gave rise to the need for an intellectual and practical support platform to guide, direct and co-ordinate the campaign. That was the background to the establishment of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) with headquarters in Laxenburg, Austria. IACA was mandated to provide education, capacity building and necessary technical assistance to relevant groups of stakeholders involved in the anti-corruption fight in both public and private sectors. The institution has been delivering on these mandates. Nigeria joined IACA in 2011 while her membership was ratified by the Federal Executive Council in 2012.