The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has revealed that the Nigerian government is collaborating with various jurisdictions in its efforts to recover stolen assets stashed abroad.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the AGF announced this at the Ninth session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.

Mr. Malami stated that Nigeria is deeply concerned about the annual incidence of illicit financial flows that pass through financial systems, particularly from developing to developed economies. According to him, the illicit flows are primarily the proceeds of tax evasion and other crimes that devalue local currencies and pose a threat to the economy.

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What the AGF is saying

According to Dr. Umar Gwandu, Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Nigeria, along with Pakistan, the State of Palestine, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, submitted a draft resolution titled, “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 stated that the Nigerian delegation is calling for the identification of the most effective means of removing legal barriers to asset recovery, particularly in the Requested States, because the procedure for obtaining MLA to identify, trace, seize, confiscate, and repatriate proceeds of corruption is often complex and problematic.

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He stated that the draft resolution was intended to emphasize the importance of beneficial ownership transparency. He stated that new laws and acts were enacted in an effort to combat corruption in Nigeria.

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 requests the implementation report of the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency, and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel),” he said, “as well as its recommendations on illicit financial flows and beneficial ownership transparency.”

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