Nigeria violates international agreements on asset recovery -CISLAC

THE Nigerian government is currently violating various international agreements signed under the Global Forum for Asset Recovery, raising concerns on its sincerity in the fight against corruption, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has said.

Executive director of CISLAC Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, who gave the information on Wednesday at the closing ceremony of a media workshop on ‘Effective Reporting of Nigeria’s Asset Recovery and Management System,’ said the Global Forum for Asset Recovery(GFAR) principles agreed and signed in 2017 in Washington DC and the London Anti-corruption Summit in 2016 both clearly stated parameters for  asset recovery and asset recovery management, regretting that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had refused to implement it.

The executive director called on the federal government to implement key legal frameworks around the management and utilisation of recovered assets in order to deepen its fight against corruption in line with global best practices.

He noted further that the lacuna in the management of recovered assets was seen glaringly in the recent arguments between the federal government and the Delta State government in respect to who owned the restituted £4.2 miilion pounds James Ibori loot.

“Foreign assets recovered by Nigerian government do not compare to the amount of domestically siezed and confiscated assets, which include siezed buildings, vehicles and others. These have proven to be worth billions of dollars in the past and are certainly surpassing the internationally recovered assets.”

Read also: OPL 245: Anti-graft group set to meet Malami, others over asset recovery

“The Nigerian public needs to be convinced that these recoveries are not just another loot used for political survival and self enrichment of those in power,” he noted.




     

     

    Speaking on urgent steps to be taken by the government, he said: “We call for the enactment of the proceeds of crime legislation without excuses. The delay in passing the legislation which the Nigerian government committed to it 2016greatly undermines asset recovery and management process in Nigeria.”

    He  further called on the government to establish a database that would contain details of persons from whom assets were recovered and how the recovered assets were utilised. This database, he added, should be publicly accessible, and should contain all interim and final forfeitures of different types of movable and immovable assets siezed by different agencies.

    He further called on the government to facilitate inclusion of the civil society in recovered asset return and management.

    “It is important that independent civil society organisations, including victims, groups, representatives, are enabled to  participate in the asset recovery process, especially in the process of monitoring and deciding how recovered assets are utilised.”

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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