By Adeola Tukuru
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), yesterday called on the federal government for urgent action on asset recovery management guidelines and transparency in the end-use of recovered assets.
The group in a press statement issued by the Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, in Abuja, noted that the anti-corruption summit in London in 2016 prompted the government to make two specific commitments in re gards to asset recovery: i) strengthening of the asset recovery legislation through the passing of the Proceeds of Crime Bill to provide for transparent management of returned assets and non-conviction based approach to asset recovery, ii) developing internationally endorsed guidelines for the transparent and accountable management of returned stolen assets.
According to him, “We observe that there is little information and absence of clear guidelines on how these recovered assets are utilised to compensate the victims of ongoing looting of public resources and for the benefit of the citizens.”
He further noted that, despite the undeniable progress on recovered assets domestically and internationally, the management of recovered assets still operates under fractioned legislative framework and unclear or absent policy guidelines.
Auwal said the mandates of a number of anti-corruption agencies in regards to the asset recovery management overlap. It remains unclear, which of the many anti-corruption institutions takes a lead in the coordination of asset recovery efforts.
“Crucial legislature with a potential to establish an acceptable asset recovery management framework such as the Proceeds of Crime Bill (2014) is stalled without explanation.
“The recent suspension of Nigeria from the elite EGMONT group of financial intelligence agencies is ample evidence of chaotic institutional structure in the anti-corruption domain beset by inexplicable inter-agency rivalry and lack of coordination of the anti-corruption effort.
“We demand that clear guidelines are established on the use of recovered assets with priority given to the health and education sector. This can be done through supplementary appropriation Bill to the National Assembly,” he said.