The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has set its sights on a concerning issue plaguing public institutions: the acceptance of forged academic and professional certificates by public officers.

Established under Section 3 of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2011, pursuant to Article 79 of the Constitution, the EACC is entrusted with the critical mandate to oversee and enforce compliance with integrity standards governing the conduct of all State and Public Officers.

"It has come to the attention of the Commission that some public institutions have allowed public officers with cases of forged academic and professional certificates to resign or proceed on early retirement and processed payment of terminal benefits without following the law," the EACC stated.

In response to these alarming revelations, the Commission has issued a clear directive to all accounting and authorized officers within public institutions.

They are admonished against processing benefits such as pensions, unpaid allowances, and accrued leave for individuals found to have used fraudulent academic qualifications to secure employment.

Moreover, the EACC has emphasized the necessity for public institutions to prioritize the verification of academic and professional certificates for all serving public officers.

Instances of forged credentials must be promptly reported to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for thorough investigation and appropriate action in accordance with the law.

"It is further advised that the salaries, allowances, and benefits earned by public officers who secured employment using forged academic and professional certificates are recoverable in full," the Commission emphasized, underlining the gravity of the situation.

This proactive stance by the EACC highlights its unwavering commitment to upholding integrity and accountability within the public sector.

By ensuring that only individuals with legitimate qualifications occupy positions of responsibility, the commission aims to bolster public trust and uphold the highest standards of governance.

The directive from the EACC serves as a stark reminder to public institutions to fortify their recruitment processes and exercise meticulous due diligence when vetting candidates.

Failure to adhere to these directives could result in severe consequences, including legal action and the recovery of unlawfully obtained benefits.

As the EACC intensifies its efforts to combat corruption and malpractice, it calls upon all stakeholders to collaborate in the collective pursuit of transparency and ethical conduct within the public service.

Through concerted action and steadfast dedication, the integrity of our institutions can be safeguarded for the betterment of society as a whole.