The Youth Advocacy for Good Governance has commended the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, for initiating the ‘Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Bill’.
Recall that on Wednesday, September 16, during its virtual meeting, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, had approved the transmission of the bill to the National Assembly.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the FEC meeting, Mr Malami said the new law seeks to move the fight against corruption to the next level.
“Next level of transparency, next level of accountability in essence, will have in place an agency of government that is exclusively responsible for anything proceeds of crime,” Mr Malami had said:
Issuing a statement on Monday, the convener of the group, Abdussamad Aliyu-Dogondaji, said the bill, if passed into law, would among other things see to the unbundling of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for improved efficiency.
The group, therefore, commended the minister for taking the bull by its horns.
Mr Aliyu-Dogondaji noted that the bill would also address the alleged issues of diversion of recovered assets, saying: “there have been several reports of diversion and misappropriation of recovered assets by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC officials, hence the need to address the issue”.
“Interestingly, addressing the diversion would bring about transparency in the EFCC operations,” he added.
“Establishing the new agency is necessary in order to manage assets that constitute proceeds of crimes, because previous proceeds of crime are scattered in different and multiple agencies.
“Now, these national assets would be managed by a single agency, giving room for greater transparency. When the EFCC makes any recovery, the proposed agency would be responsible for managing these assets – two agencies would be involved in record keeping.
“Furthermore, the proposed agency would address decaying of recovered real estates and other machineries due to poor management.
“As it is now, several forfeited properties have decayed and are still decaying and dilapidating over time. If established, the new agency would lessen the job of the EFCC in recovering and managing assets at the same time,” Mr Dogondaji said.