Buhari gives Six Months to Dispose Forfeited Assest
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the disposal of all Federal Government Forfeited Assets, within the next six month.
The Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (HAGF), Abubakar Malami SAN, made this known during the inauguration of a 22 Members Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Forfeited Assets today, Monday 9th October, 2020, in Abuja.
In his opening remarks, Malami charged the Committee to ensure transparency and accountability as they discharge their duties.
He said, the idea that led to the inauguration was President Muhammudu Buhari’s directive in October, 2018 following the recommendations of the Presidential Audit Committees on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets, for an effective and efficient management of recovered assets, as an interim measure, pending the passage of the proceeds of Crime Bill.
He noted that, “President Buhari approved the composition of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of all Federal Government Forfeited Assets on 27th October, 2020 which we are inaugurating today. The committee has a time frame of six (6) Months for the disposal of all Federal Government Forfeited Assets”
”In compliance with the directives of Mr. President, the office of the HAGF and Minister of Justice issued Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations (ATRM), 2019 to provide legal and administrative frameworks for the investigation, tracing, seizure and disposal of stolen or illegally acquired assets and proceeds of crime.
Malami revealed that the regulation which was drawn from extant laws of relevant anti- corruption and law enforcement agencies, aimed at ensuring proper coordination of the disposal of FG assets and for promoting a uniform, harmonized and transparent procedure to safeguard the recovery by the relevant agencies in line with the anti-corruption drive of the present administration.
He disclosed that, Members of the Committee were drawn from relevant agencies that deal with the recovery and disposal of FGN’s Assets while the Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary, FMOJ, Dayo Apata, SAN shall be the Chairman. He said ATRM Unit under the office of the HAGF shall serve as the Secretariat of the Committee.
The Committee Members include; Office of the Chief of Staff to the President; Federal Ministry of Justice; Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; Auditor –General of the Federation; EFCC; ICPC; Nigeria Army; Navy; Police and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
Others are; Department of State Security; NDLEA; National Oil Spillage; Detection and Response Agency; Representatives of CSO; Youth; Media and any other Nigerian with exceptional expertise that could add value to the Committee.
Malami said the responsibilities of the Committee include; Implement provisions of the ATRM Regulations; ensure the synergy and collaboration between AGF and Law Enforcement; Anti-Corruption Agencies; and ensure that information flow on assets are put in place.
Other responsibilities are; respond to any ongoing Asset Management Audit and the asset performance reports; consistently implement enablers and controls that support decision making and efficiency of service delivery which govern the disposal of assets and Development of targets for the Committee in other to measure its performance.
HAGF said, the ATRM Regulations 2019 Standard Operating Procedures and Term of Reference would serve as guild lines for the Committee. He further said that, their mandate along with disposal of Forfeited Assets is to generate revenue for FG
He urged the Committee to work as a formidable Team with the relevant agencies in accordance with extant laws and regulations. It is also my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country” He conclude
In his remarks, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata SAN, who doubles as Chairman of the newly inaugurated Committee, said the constitution of the Committee is another milestone in the new frontiers being charted by the office of the HAGF beyond the conventional responsibilities of prosecution, defending or representing the FG and its MDAs in litigations and proffering legal opinion.
He emphasized that the office of the AGF is strategically carving a pride of place for itself amongst the agencies boosting the revenue profile of the country as witnessed by the resent recovery of the asset referred to as Abacha III, the sum of ($311Million) from the Island of Jersey and USA to Nigeria which is in addition to the previous and expected recoveries.
Apata disclosed that the Committee Secretariat had developed a work plan to assist Members in effective discharge of their duties. He assured the Stakeholders that the operation of the Committee will be guided by transparency and accountability.
He informed that the Committee is receptive to positive contributions and suggestions, while he enjoined all members as representatives of the relevant agencies to extend their cooperation and support to the Committee in other to achieve good deliver
He requested all Committee Members and Stakeholders to forward all record of forfeited assets to the Committee Secretariat for consideration and procedure accordingly.
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