Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has narrated how the operatives of the Commission traversed America, the Europe and other countries of the world in search of the monies looted by Nigerians and stashed away in those countries
Magu, who spoke today, Wednesday, at the ongoing 7th Session of Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Vienna, Austria, listed some of the countries as Switzerland, USA, UK, UAE, Jersey, Island and Panama, amongst others.
The EFCC boss told over 100 delegates at the Convention that efforts were intensified in asset recovery, including the progress made in the specific cases related to Abacha loot, Malabu Oil deal, Diezani and Associates as well as the Arms procurement scandal involding the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
He said that monetary recoveries from May 2015 to October 20, 2017 was in excess of N738.9 billion which is equivalent to over $2.9 billion, adding that this does not include smaller currencies in other currencies such as Durham, CRA and British Pound.
Magu said that employing the mechanism of the non-conviction based forfeiture provided under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, the EFCC has also made a lot of recovery locally. According to him, in this year alone, the Commission recovered stolen assets running into several millions of US Dollars and billions in naira, include the sum of $43 million recovered from Deziani Allison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum and N2 billion spread in seven accounts in three Nigerian Banks, laundered from the Federal Capital Territory Police Command Salary Accounts.
The EFCC chief strategist suggested to the world body the need for improved coordination and cooperation among State parties in asset recovery through the consideration and adoption of measures that will remove traditional ‘barriers such as bank secrecy, consistent with Article 46(8) and dual criminality Article 46(9) as well as simplify legal technicalities in the recovery and repatriation of stolen funds. Magu sought for measures to reduce cost of recovery of assets for developing countries and ensure speedy return of all stolen assets to victim States in line with the current resolution, sponsored by Nigeria.
He suggested also sanction and prosecution of any financial institution that violates AML/CFT measures and the maintenance of a public register on beneficial ownership. [myad]