European countries and the United States Government have been urged to hasten the repatriation of stolen assets that belong to African countries which were transferred to western countries by corrupt Government officials.
The heads of anti-corruption agencies in Africa made the call after highlighting the losses attributed to corrupt activities of Government officials and how these financial crimes affect the development of countries in Africa.
Africa’s anti-graft agencies disclosed this via a communiqué issued at the end of the ninth Commonwealth Regional Conference of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa which held from May 6 to 10 in Kampala, Uganda.
The communique was released, yesterday, by the spokesperson for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Tony Orilade.
Anti-graft solution to money laundering: Concerns were raised regarding the heavy losses that Africa always suffers due to the illegal transfers of proceeds of corruption and crimes outside its shores. This gave rise to the need for anti-graft agencies to strengthen ties in order to adequately facilitate asset recovery and returns.
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The conference which was tagged, “Time to act: Prevent corruption for sustainable development’’, saw security agencies admitting that adopting preventive and enforcement measures are key to curbing the rise of money laundering and other forms of financial crimes.
African countries following EFCC’s path: According to the resolution reached during the conference, other African anti-graft agencies were advised to follow the path of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency by acquiring polygraph technology as part of their investigative and integrity testing process.
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Nigeria’s repatriation effort: Nigeria has been trying to get members of the European Union and the United States of America to return looted funds to Nigeria. One of the efforts includes President Muhammadu Buhari’s agreement with Switzerland.
In the first quarter of 2018, President Buhari signed an agreement with the Swiss Federal Council and International Development Association on the Return, Monitoring, and Management of Illegally-Acquired Assets Confiscated by Switzerland, to be Restituted to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Note that part of the popular funds that are still hanging in foreign countries include the Abacha funds.
The Nigerian Government is currently fighting an anti-corruption war in a country where corrupt Government officials are famous for transferring funds to foreign countries and buying luxury properties to conceal their illegal activities.
Switzerland is the favourite destination for most corrupt officials looking to hide their embezzled funds.
About the conference: The conference was organised to illuminate the financial security problems African countries are facing, with stakeholders proffering solutions and innovative measures to raised concerns across the sub-Saharan nations.