Agencies involved in the recovery of Nigeria’s looted funds have been assured that the essence of regulation put in place was not to take away their statutory powers.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made the clarification as Nigeria and the Island of Jersey prepare to sign an agreement with the United States Government for the repatriation of 321 million dollars, which is part of the funds looted by former Head of State, late Gen. Sani Abacha.
A statement by his spokesman, Umar Gwandu, said Malami made the explanation on Thursday at the head of agencies sensitization on the implementation of the 2017 – 2021 National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS).
He said the issuance of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019 on 29th October 2019 was aimed at consolidating overall efforts, attaining synergy and encouraging record centralization.
“I wish to use this medium to reassure particularly our Law Enforcement Agencies that are directly involved with asset recovery that the essence of the Regulation is in no way intended to take away the statutory powers of any agencies but rather to consolidate these powers by encouraging synergy and also centralize records of proceeds of crime and ensure transparent disposal and management of assets in line with the vision of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR,” he said.
Malami stated that the purpose of the meeting was to solicit cooperation and collaboration of the pilot MDAs in the implementation of the NACS which he believed, going forward and within the lifespan of the Strategy is more than enough for to collaborate and make significant progress in the implementation.
Malami said four cardinal measures were put in place, including placing agencies on adequate notice in relation to the Regulations, Agencies being provided access to input inventories of all the assets recovered and status of these recovered assets.
He disclosed that agencies shall be provided with a Standard Operating Procedures as a guide for the disposal and management of assets with each agency; and that the disposal process will be joint, transparent and open with collective input aimed at building the established database which will eventually establish institutional memory.
While calling for more political will from heads of agencies involved, the Minister said the technical team under his supervision has
attained milestone achievements.