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Buhari orders sales of seized assets

By News Desk

In order to generate funds and address infrastructural needs in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the sales of all assets forfeited to Federal Government within the next six months.

Buhari also approved that a 22-man Inter-Ministerial Committee that would supervise sales of the assets forfeited to the apex government on court orders.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this while inaugurating the committee headed by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, on Monday.

He said: “It is my pleasure to note that Mr President approved the composition of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria Forfeited Assets on 27th October 2020 which we are inaugurating today. The Committee has a time frame of six months for the disposal of all Federal Government Forfeited Assets”.

Malami said that the Committee core mandate was to ensure expedient disposal of all forfeited assets, to generate revenue for the Federal Government.

“The Regulation was drawn from the extant laws of the relevant anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies. It is aimed at ensuring proper coordination of the disposal of the Federal Government assets and for promoting a uniform, harmonised, and transparent procedure to safeguard the assets recovered by the relevant agencies in line with the anti-corruption drive of this administration.

“Members of the Committee are drawn from the relevant agencies that deal with the recovery and disposal of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s assets. While the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, shall be the Chairman of the Committee, the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Unit under the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice shall serve as the Secretariat of the Committee.”

Members of the Committee include, but not limited to, representatives from the following: Office of the Chief of Staff to the President; Federal Ministry of Justice; Federal Ministry of Finance; Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; Auditor-General of the Federation; EFCC; ICPC; Nigerian Army; Nigerian Navy; Nigeria Police; Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency; Department of State Security; National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; among others.

You may recall that pursuant to Mr. President’s directive in October 2018 following the recommendations of the Presidential Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets, there was the need for effective and efficient management of recovered assets, as an interim measure, pending the passage of the Proceeds of Crime Bill. In compliance with the directives of Mr. President, the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice issued Asset Tracing, Recovery, and Management Regulations, 2019 to provide legal and administrative frameworks for the investigation, tracing, seizure, and disposal of stolen or illegally acquired assets and proceeds of crime.

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