The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Thursday said it had begun the prosecution of 67 illegal universities operating in the country.
Chairman of the commission, Mr Eyo Ntia, said this at the 22nd Annual International Conference on African Literature and English Language (ICALE), University of Calabar.
He said the commission had taken the fight against corruption to the universities to stem the tide of such corrupt practices, including examination malpractice, sexual harassment, illegal transcripts and proliferation of illegal universities.
“As I speak to you now, there are 67 illegal universities with registered addresses operating in the country. I have gotten a court order to move against these institutions and their owners,” he said.
He said that even the students of the affected institutions would be charged as accomplices, adding that they were all endangering the security of the country.
Ntia also said that the ICPC was fighting against sexual harassment in the institutions of learning as well as other public places.
“There is already a bill on sexual harassment before the National Assembly and we have also set up hotlines, where you can report such complaints of sexual harassment,” he said.
He warned students and lecturers to desist from indulging in such sharp practices, adding that the commission was collaborating with the National Universities Commission (NUC) to stamp out exam malpractices.
“Transcript has also become a national embarrassment. So, we are working to ensure that people can longer cut corners.”
The chairman said the United Nations Anti-Corruption Initiative selected 20 universities across the world, where it would establish anti-corruption study centres.
“I will like to inform you that I have chosen University of Calabar to be one of the two universities for such study centres in Nigeria,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. James Epoke, said that ICALEL’s publications were well recognised by the university for promotional purposes.
Earlier, the Head of Department, English and Literary Studies, Dr Stella Nsah, said that the topic for the event was chosen in response to the current events in the society.
“Everybody is concerned about it and we are also concerned about it; so, this workshop is expected to highlight the role played by Nigeria and other African countries in tackling corruption.”