Nigeria Gets New Corruption Related Agency
The federal government in Nigeria has approved the establishment of a new anti-corruption agency to coordinate all recovered looted assets.
Nigerian Sketch reports that there have been issues around loots recovered from larcenous public officials, politicians and government functionaries in Nigeria, and part of the questions facing the erstwhile chairman of the economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, are related to the whereabouts of such looted assets.
The federal executive council on Wednesday gave approval for the establishment of the agency, said the minister of justice and attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, who spoke with correspondents after the FEC meeting on Wednesday.
According to him, the new agency would be known as the ‘Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency’ and will oversee the responsibility of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria.
He added that the FEC has approved transmission of a bill, titled, “Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Bill,” to the National Assembly.
“The Federal Ministry of Justice presented to Council a memo. The memo is about a Bill which seeks the approval of the Council to transmit to the National Assembly for passage. It is the Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Bill.
“It is in essence a bill that is targeted and intended to have in place a legal and institutional framework. The legal component of it is having a law and the institutional component of it is to have an agency that will be saddled with the responsibility of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria”, the minister said.
He explained further that “What happens before now is the proceeds of crime are scattered all over, and mostly in the hands of different and multiple agencies of government inclusive of the police, the DSS (Department of State Service), EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), and ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission).
“So, with that kind of arrangement which is ad-hoc, there is no agency of government that is saddled with the responsibility of data generation, an agency that can give you off-hand the number of landed assets, number of immovable assets, the amount in cash that are recovered by the federal government by way of interim forfeiture overweigh of a final forfeiture.
“So, it is indeed over time a kind of arrangement that is not uniform and consistent. If you have a budget item for recovered assets, this agency will now be in a position to provide information to the federal ministry of finance, budget and National Planning on-demand as to what amount is there available for budget purposes, thereby establishing the desired transparency, the desired accountability which has not been available before now”, the AGF stated.