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Fight against corruption: ICPC, CODA sign agreement on asset recovery

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THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has entered an agreement with the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CODA) with a view to implementing the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR).

According to the anti-graft agency, the partnership would enable the two organisations to recover assets stolen from Africa quickly.

Chairman of ICPC Bolaji Owasanoye, a professor, signed the agreement on behalf of the commission while the Executive Director of CoDA and Head of African Union High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows Souad Aden-Osman signed for her organisation.

Owasanoye expressed satisfaction with the agreement and commended the efforts of CoDA in the implementation of CAPAR and recovery of stolen assets from Africa.

“If harnessed properly, these stolen assets and resources could make considerable differences in Africa’s development.

“The CAPAR is therefore a critical step in stemming and reversing illicit financial flows from Africa and for the recovery and return of assets within a contextualised historical, political, economic, and social narrative,” he stated.

On her part, Aden-Osman said the organisation would support ICPC in implementing CAPAR-related activities.

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“The purpose of the cooperation agreement is to regulate the relationship between the parties in pursuing their common objective towards advancing asset detection and identification; asset recovery and return; asset management as well as cooperation and partnership in Africa,” she said.

CoDA, chaired by former African Presidents, is currently headed by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Under the cooperation agreement, the ICPC and the CoDA are to implement joint activities to facilitate and advance the mapping of strategies and action plans for CAPAR implementation, identify African assets in foreign jurisdictions, strengthen systems for the detection, and advocate for CAPAR at national, regional and global levels.

The two parties are also to facilitate partnerships, collaborations, networking and consultations among senior government officials, policymakers, researchers and civil society towards the realisation of the objectives of CAPAR.

CAPAR is a political, policy, and advocacy instrument to assist Africa in identifying, repatriating and effectively managing Africa’s assets for the common good of its citizens in a manner that respects the sovereignty of member-states.

According to the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, the need for African countries to tackle corruption had become compelling as corruption often led to illicit financial flows (IFFs), making the continent lose $1.26trillion to IFFs.

Worried by this development and in a bid to ensure that Africa gets better deals from looted funds and leverage its resources for inclusive and sustainable growth, a forum was held at the sidelines of the 9th Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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The forum, a hybrid event (physical and virtual) attended by representatives of African governments, was organised by the ICPC in collaboration with African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUBC) and Collation for Dialogue.

The event titled ‘Understanding and Implementation of the Common African Position on Assets Recovery (CAPAR)’ was targeted at kick-starting new alliances, partnerships and collaborations towards a successful implementation of the CAPAR.

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