The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Monday, inaugurated a 21-man Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria’s Forfeited Assets.
The committee whose members were inaugurated at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja, is expected to sell off all assets forfeited in favour of the Federal Government within six months.
Malami said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had approved the constitution of the committee, which is chaired by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata (SAN).
He noted that following the recommendations of the Presidential Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets, the President had in October 2018 directed effective and efficient management of recovered assets, as an interim measure, pending the passage of the Proceeds of Crime Bill.
He added, “In compliance with the directives of Mr. President, the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice issued Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 to provide legal and administrative frameworks for the investigation, tracing, seizure and disposal of stolen or illegally acquired assets and proceeds of crime.
“The regulation was drawn from the extant laws of the relevant anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies.
“It is aimed at ensuring proper coordination of the disposal of the Federal Government assets and for promoting a uniform, harmonised and transparent procedure to safeguard the assets recovered by the relevant agencies in line with the anti-corruption drive of this administration.
“It is my pleasure to note that Mr. President approved the composition of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria Forfeited Assets on October 27, 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.”
He said the responsibilities of the committee included, among others, ensuring the transparency of the disposal of Federal Government final forfeited assets and the synergy and collaboration between the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies, other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies and the Non-Governmental Organisations in the collation of records of all assets.
He added that the committee would ensure that information flow on assets was in place, respond to any ongoing asset management audit and the asset performance reports; and consistently implement enablers and controls that support decision making and efficiency of service delivery which governs the disposal of assets.
He added, “Your mandate is to ensure the expedient disposal of all FGN Forfeited Assets and generate revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Accordingly, I wish to solicit the cooperation of all members of this Inter-Ministerial Committee in that respect.”
He warned that “the task before the Inter-Ministerial Committee is an enormous one and must be conducted with utmost dignity having the interest of Nigeria at heart.”
Also speaking, the chairman of the new committee and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Apata, said the committee would help to achieve inter-agencies coordinations with regard to recovered assets management and help to boost government revenue.
He also said it would help in “advancing the rule of law and anti-corruption stance” of the Buhari regime.
Members of the committee included the representatives of the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President; the Federal Ministry of Justice; Federal Ministry of Finance; Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Auditor-General of the Federation, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices (and other related offences) Commission.
They also include the representatives of Nigerian Army, Nigerian NavyNigeria Police, Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Department of State Security, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Department of Petroleum Resources, National Oil Spillage, Detection and Response Agency, Bureau of Public Procurement, and the Civil Society Organisation.
The rest are the representatives of the youth, the media, and any other Nigerian with exceptional expertise that could add value to the Committee as deemed fit by the Attorney General of the Federation.