Forensic, investigative auditors berate ICAN President over derogatory comment

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Top members of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria (CIFIAN) have described as `unfortunate and a display of ignorance’ statement credited to the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria(ICAN).

Dr Victoria Enape, CIFIAN President, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, said the ICAN boss had shown that he was not in tune with global trend in financial auditing.

ICAN President, Alhaji Ismaila Zakari, had recently warned against proliferation of accountancy bodies in Nigeria, saying promoters of those bodies were only interested in their personal pockets and not the profession.

Zakari had referred the promoters of the accountancy bodies as comedians.

“Only last month, ICAN was invited by the National Assembly to make presentation on a bill seeking to provide for the establishment of Chartered Institute of Forensic Accountants of Nigeria and another one seeking to provide for the establishment of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria.

“I led a delegation to the Senate where I made a presentation in which I condemned the bill in strong terms. All hands must be on deck, if we are to kill this mediocrity. We are hopeful that the Senate would not listen,” Zakari said.

However, Enape said she read what the ICAN president said with much dismay, adding that she was sure that justice would prevail.

She said that the CIFIAN Bill did not in any way amount to duplicating of duties or looking for money as alleged.

“I am not a comedian neither am I a mediocre. A mediocre cannot write a book on forensic auditing like I have done. Nobody in ICAN has written a book on anything forensic.

“Today in Nigeria, the first person to write a book on Forensic and Investigative Auditing and Fraud Prevention in the President of CIFIAN.

“How could you call somebody like that a mediocre or whatever demeaning name?

“Besides the National Assembly is made up of credible people and I know that will disregard that ignoble call; they will not be on the side of people that have selfish interests.

“There is need to be specialisation as obtainable in other countries,’’ she said.

According to her CIFIAN is not a threat to ICAN and does not see ICAN as a threat to it as CIFIAN is coming to check fraud by going beyond the traditional auditing practice.

“I think that comment exposes his ignorance in the terms of global best practices in financial accounting and auditing.

“I do not see any reason why it is a problem to ICAN for other professional bodies to exist. ANAN is in full support of what we are doing. For the fact that you that forensic auditing is the current trend globally is not enough reason for you to shift and say you are now doing forensic; is it in their enabling Act?,’’ she queried.

On his part, Wilson Herbert, Professor of Accounting and Financial Management, Federal University, Utuoke, Bayelsa State, said he was saddened that ICAN was misplacing its priorities.

He said that it was misleading for ICAN to talk about proliferation of accounting bodies in Nigeria when just two of such bodies were servicing a huge population.

“There are many things challenging our country socially, politically, economically and otherwise; I do not know why ICAN is wasting time fighting the CIFIAN Bill.

“It was the formation of ANAN that woke ICAN up; a population of above 180 million with only two professional bodies and you say it is proliferation.

“The statement is most unfortunate; using vindictive and characterising the promoters of CIFIAN Bill is regrettable,’’ he said.

In his reaction, Dr Gbegi Daniel, Senior Lecturer, Federal University of Agriculture, Markudi and a fellow of CIFIAN, said he was baffled that a person occupying a post as ICAN president was not abreast with current trend in the financial world.

He said that name calling was petty and unexpected from the ICAN president.

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