President Buhari has sent an executive bill that would, among others, ensure the management of the funds and property confiscated from criminals.
The proposed legislation titled, ‘Proceeds of Crime Bill,’ also seek to address the problem of lack of transparency and accountability associated with the management of recovered funds by anti-corruption agencies in the country.
Buhari, in a letter to the upper chamber on Tuesday, explained that the decision to transmit the bill to the National Assembly for consideration was approved by the Federal Executive Council.
The letter, dated October 6, 2020, and read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, stated that the bill was critical in sustaining the fight against corruption, money laundering and illicit movement of stolen funds through the banking system and across Nigerian borders.
The letter read in part, “I am pleased to inform the Distinguished Senators that the above mention bill was presented to the Federal Executive Council, in council memo EC (2020)159 on September 16, 2020 and was subsequently approved for transmission to the National Assembly.
“Please recall that this bill was passed by the National Assembly in 2019 but was not granted assent due to some issues that were identified during the review.
“The Proceeds of Crime Bill is essential and critical in building an enduring and sustainable foundation for the fight against corruption, money laundering and illicit movement of stolen funds through the banking system and across the Nigerian borders.
“The bill will also improve the ability of law enforcement agencies to seize, freeze, and confiscated stolen assets in Nigeria while observing all related constitutional and human rights laws.
The National Assembly had on May 22, 2019, transmitted the Proceeds of Crime Bill to the President for his assent.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes, Kayode Oladele, confirmed the development then.
Buhari, however, declined his assent to the bill.