Nominated by the then acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Bolaji Owasanoye, a professor of law, was confirmed as the new chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) by Senate on Thursday, December 20.
Owasanoye will head the anti-graft agency for the next five years with 13 other members whose tenure is for four years, subject to confirmation by the Senate.
The new chairman takes 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.
Legit.ng highlights nine important facts about Owasanoye.
1. Owasanoye graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (formerly University of Ife) in 1984 at the age of 20 with an LL.B Upper Division and was called to the Bar in 1985. He thereafter proceeded to the University of Lagos where he bagged an LL.M in 1987 at 24.
2. After briefly teaching at the University of Lagos as an assistant lecturer, Owasanoye moved to the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) where he became a professor of law in 2001 at the age of 38. His areas of specialization are Commercial and International Trade Law, Corporate Law, Child Rights and Human Rights Law and Strategic Governance and the Law of External Debt Management.
3. The new ICPC boss also worked as a consultant for federal and state agencies in Nigeria and international agencies, including UINTAR, ILO, USAID, UNICEF, DfID, World Bank, World Bank Institute, Ford Foundation, WLAFEM and ECOWAS.
4. As a professor of law, he has published several articles in local and foreign journals and presented papers in law conferences, seminars and workshop.
5. In 1997, he co-founded the Human Development Initiative, HDI, a non-profit organisation whose objective is to champion human capacity development, especially at the grassroots.
6. Owasanoye is also a renowned women and child rights activist. He coordinated the NIALS Ford Foundation Rights of Child Project between 1992 and 1996 and presented many papers at UN events during which he canvassed for the need for the right of children to be upheld in all the nations of the world.
7. Owasanoye is the fourth substantive chairman of the ICPC since it was established by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in 1999
8. He was appointed in August 2015 as the executive secretary of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC). He has been one of the most vocal members of the advisory body and indeed one of the advocates of the Proceeds of Crime bill, Whistle-blower and Witness Protection Bill passed by the National Assembly recently.
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9. He is the first to be conferred with the Teslim Elias Distinguished Professor of Law and won other awards such as the University of Lagos Scholarship Award (1986-1987); UN Institute for Training and Research Fellowship Award (1991 and 1994); US Information Service International Visitors Award (1991); British Council Fellowship Award (1992); International Youth Foundation Fellowship on Youth and Community Development (1992-2000) and Senior Special Fellowship, UN Institute for Training and Research (2001).
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