President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a new anti-corruption agency which will be saddled with proper coordination and recovery of all recovered looted assets in the country. The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami revealed this to State House correspondents following the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting on Wednesday, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja. The AGF said the new agency, called 'Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency', will oversee the responsibility of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria. Already, the council has approved the transmission of a bill to the National Assembly to that effect.
The bill hopes to have in place a legal and institutional framework of having a law as well as an agency that will be charged with the duty of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria.
Malami explained that once the bill becomes law and the agency is established, it would ensure proper documentation and management of such recovered assets and thereby guarantee transparency and accountability.
The AGF explained further that the creation of the agency became necessary because previous proceeds of crime were scattered in different and multiple agencies.
"The Federal Ministry of Justice presented to Council a memo today (Wednesday).
"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 an agency that will be saddled with the responsibility of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria.
"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 Services), EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), and ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses 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," Malami explained.