- Family plans to keep hold and control of body for life if chartered
- Office of president not opened for election until after 12 years after enactment of the institute
- Founding president to become CEO … shall remain … CEO … from date of his/her having ceased to be president
A joint business a.m./InsideBusinessonline investigations
The Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors (CIFIA) is allegedly a grand deception to extort unsuspecting Nigerians as the draft of its bill currently under consideration by the federal lawmakers tilt towards a family business.
The bill seeking a Charter Status and being promoted by the Victoria Ayishetu Enape-led Association of Forensic and Investigative Auditors (AFIA) seeks to make the association the regulatory body for forensic and investigative auditors in the country.
Analysis of sections of the bill, however, reveals that it gives the founding members, especially the Enape family, enormous powers and seeks to perpetuate them at the helm of the institute for life. The draft also concentrates the position of life president, registrar and the chief executive officer of the institute in the founding president.
The bill’s several anomalies, clearly show it to be a family-controlled business rather than an institute that should ordinarily comprise of several professionals who have come together to promote standards and professionalism. It is a clear departure from what exists in the management of existing professional institutes in the country which have charter status.
This grand design is noticeable in sections 4, 5, 8, 21 and the fourth schedule which deals with affiliations to other professional bodies.
For instance, in Section 4 (2), the bill states: “The President and Vice-Presidents shall be elected at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Institute and shall each hold office for a term of two years from the date of the election and no provision for re-election with the exception of the founding or pioneer president.”
A legislative aide at the Senate in Abuja explained to our investigators that by interpretation, the section has invariably given the founding president, Victoria Ayishetu Enape, an undue advantage while limiting others to a term of two years. People familiar with the process for professional groups seeking charter status said this was strange and they wondered what could be the motivation for such a provision in a bill seeking charter status for professionals. “This is simply an attempt to perpetuate an individual in a position for life and this is rather strange given that this is not meant to be a private business. It questions the integrity of the drafters of this bill,” the legislative aide said.
Yet even more bizarre is the provision in Section 4 (6), where it was stated that: “The President shall be a fellow of the Institute and shall be a holder of Ph.D in Accounting, or related field, and shall have been fully involved in the activities of the Institute and a financial member for at least not less than 10 years to be qualified for nomination as President of the Institute.”
Again, an analysis shows that this provision immediately disqualifies others from contesting the position because none other than Ayishetu Enape meets the benchmarks specified. This raises a question of motive and makes it a wonder how the bill has passed through the eyes and rigorous scrutiny of the men and women of the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly without anyone raising an eyebrow. A serious integrity question is now being directed at not only the sponsors and promoters of the bill but the National Assembly which has allowed this to go on without putting an immediate stop to it.
For instance, one of the certificates that Victoria Ayishetu Enape has been parading indicates she has a Ph.D (which our investigators found to have been obtained from Southern Delaware University), in addition to being involved in the activities of the association from inception, having registered it with her husband as initial trustees. She has also been a financier and financial member, since the creation of the association that is now being propelled into an institute for the purpose of a Nigerian government charter.
Across other sections, the way the bill has been drafted raises even more integrity issues. In Section 4 (7), for instance, it is stated that: “The tenure of the office of president shall be two years, but in the case of the founding/pioneer President shall be three tenures in the office as president from the date the institute gets its enactment.”
In other words, the founding/pioneer president now sees herself simply as protem president, whose real tenure would begin upon the granting of charter through the passage of the bill. This anomaly appears to suggest that the Enapes regard themselves as the sole owners of an institute that seeks to regulate a professional practice; and for which the National Assembly is spending taxpayers’ legislative time and money listening to.
The section, indeed, disqualifies other prospectors of the position of the president of the institute and also gives her multiple tenures, being the one that conceived the idea, as contained in the outcome of the Search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Yet, that is not all that shows that the pursuit of the Charter lacks integrity and thus highly questionable on the ground of motive. For instance, Section 4 (10) states thus: “The office of the President is not opened for election until after 12 years after enactment of the institute.”
This section, indirectly, reserves the position of president exclusively for Victoria Ayishetu Enape, the founding president, and voids any contest with her for that position over six tenures. This contradicts, however, Section 4 (7) of the bill, which gives her three tenures.
A further analysis of this provision also shows that only another member of the family can take over from her after the first three tenures to keep the spoil in the family.
Note also the provision of Section 5(2) which states as follows: “The Council shall consist of the following members, that is: (a) The President of the Institute, who shall be the Chairman of the council; (b) Two Vice-Presidents; (c) Pioneer President of the Institute; (d) The immediate past President of the Institute (e) Two Fellows of the Institute; (f) The Registrar of the Institute, who shall also be the Secretary of the Council; (g) Two persons who shall be members of the Institute to represent institutions of higher learning in Nigeria in rotation, so however that the two shall not come from the same institution. (h) A Representative of the Federal Government of Nigeria (i) Two pioneer trustees of the Institute.
Again, a good examination of this provision, matched against the registration documents in the file of the association at the CAC, shows that the section is merely to give legal backing to the entrenchment of the family’s hold and control of the institute if the bill is passed. Because no new or joining members would meet the criteria set, it would make any opposition impossible. With the governing council as the decision making organ of the institute, this would effectively keep it in the family.
Findings at CAC show that the trustees of the association that is trying to metamorphose into CIFIA, at incorporation on June 17, 2016, to be Victoria Ayishetu Enape, and one Pastor Joseph Enape, who is also the secretary and allegedly, her husband.
By 3 April 2017, AFIA’s Trustees by resolution were Victoria Ayishetu Enape, Joseph Enape and Joseph Grace Ilemona of House C42, Area 2, Garki Abuja.
The Trustees’ form of the association dated 17 October 2017 shows the trustees to include Victoria Ayishetu Enape, Pastor Joseph Enape, and Joseph Grace Ilemona.
Others are Joseph Gideon Ikojo of B5 NNPC Quarters at Area 11, Garki, Stephen Abuh of 15B Ajere Close, Garki 2, Abuja, Professor Bayero Sabir Muhammad of B1 Nangi Close, Kano state, Okoro Onyegbula Eddybrown of 34, Navy Estate, Abuja, Iloba Grace Onumu of Plot 39, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, Ibrahim Usman of 30 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Way, Utako Abuja and Abuh Okpanachi, a staff of Salem University, Lokoja.
Following the list of trustees already registered at the CAC, sub-sections c and j appear as ploys to make her, the husband, Pastor Joseph Enape, and also other trustees as shown in the CAC records, permanent members of the council.
Even after the expiration of the maximum 12 years that the draft bill allows the president to enjoy, Section 21 (4) and (5), however, gives them a lifetime opportunity to remain on the institute’s council.
Section 21 (4) provides that: “In the case of a person who is a member by virtue of having been pioneer President and pioneer trustees of the Institute, he shall hold office for a period for life as a member of Council and the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute from the date of his or her having ceased to be President of the Institute”.
Curiously too, Section 21 (5) states that: “The founding president shall be the Chief Executive officer of the Institute / President, and shall remain the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute from the date of his/her having ceased to be President of the Institute, and shall be responsible for general oversight functions and be in charge of the institute affairs for life”.
The fourth schedule of the draft bill shows professional bodies that are already affiliated to Ayishetu Enape’s CIFIA.
Interestingly, two of the institutions had awarded her suspicious certificates, which bear the same signature and same address in Wellington, Delaware, United States.
The two awarding institutions are Chartered Institute of Professional Financial Managers and the Chartered Institute of Corporate Treasurers.