Asset recovery and tracing committees set up by the Federal Government have been scrapped by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
The Minister, in a Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette Vol. 106, No 163, titled, ‘Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulation 2019’, dated October 29, 2019, also stripped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences (ICPC) of the power to seize assets.
Malami ordered in Part 3, Section 5(1) of the gazette that all non-conviction based forfeiture shall be conducted by his office. He added that where a non-conviction based forfeiture procedure arose, the law enforcement agency and anti-corruption agencies should transfer the matter to the office of the AGF.
Section 5 states, “All non-conviction based forfeiture shall be conducted by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
“Where a non-conviction based forfeiture procedure arises, the LEA (Law Enforcement Agency) and ACAs (Anti-Corruption Agencies) shall transfer the matter to the Office of the AGF.”
The gazette further states that all seized assets shall be registered by all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The gazette further states that all final forfeited assets recovered by agencies shall be handed over to the AGF within 60 days from the commencement of the regulations of management, adding that any agency head who failed to follow the new guidelines would be dealt with.
“… Non–compliance with the regulations of these provisions and the guidelines and directions made pursuant to these regulations shall be considered insubordination and attract liability under the Public Sevice Rules”, Malami said I’m gazette.