Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has revealed that the Nigerian government is collaborating with various jurisdictions in its efforts to recover stolen assets stashed abroad.
The AGF made this known at the Ninth session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) holding in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mr Malami said that Nigeria notes with great concern the incidence of illicit financial flows which go through the financial systems annually, particularly from developing to developed economies. He said the illicit flows majorly are proceeds from tax evasion and other crimes that undermine local currencies and constitute a threat to the economy.
What the AGF is saying
In a statement by Dr. Umar Gwandu, Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, the minister said Nigeria together with Pakistan, State of Palestine, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Kenya, had submitted a draft resolution entitled, “Enhancing access to and the use of Beneficial Ownership Information to facilitate the identification, recovery and return of assets,” to facilitate the identification, recovery and return of assets.
Mr Malami said the Nigerian delegation is calling for an identification of the most effective means of removing legal barriers to asset recovery, especially in the Requested States because the procedure to obtain mutual legal assistance (MLA) to identify, trace, seize, confiscate and repatriate proceeds of corruption is often complex and problematic.
He said the draft resolution was meant to further highlight the importance of beneficial ownership transparency. He said in an effort to combat corruption in Nigeria, new laws and acts were enacted.
He said, “We have continued to make significant progress in our efforts to prevent and combat corruption, block leakages and recover our stolen assets.”
“In realisation that an effective Criminal Justice System is necessary for investigation and sanctioning corruption, Nigeria implementing the Justice Sector Reform Strategy covering issues such as for investigating is actively International Cooperation Mechanisms, Mutual Legal Assistance and reform of the Criminal Justice System”.
“We recently enacted a Mutual Legal Assistance Law in line with the recommendations from the UNCAC review, and also enacted the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Act to create a stand-alone Financial Intelligence Unit.”
“Nigeria calls for the implementation report of the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency, and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel) launched in February 2021 and its recommendations dealing with illicit financial flows and beneficial ownership transparency,” he added.