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CSOs canvass specialised agency to manage seized assets

By Joke Falaju, Abuja
29 May 2022   |   3:11 am
The African Network for Economic and Environment Justice (ANEEJ) has asked the National Assembly to review the Proceed of Crime Act (POCA) with a view to create a specialised agency that will manage sized assets.

David Ugolor

The African Network for Economic and Environment Justice (ANEEJ) has asked the National Assembly to review the Proceed of Crime Act (POCA) with a view to create a specialised agency that will manage sized assets.

The Executive Director of ANEEJ, David Ugolo, stated that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is already burdened with the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes, reason it should not be saddled with responsibility of managing seized assets if the country truly must succeed in its anti-graft war.

Ugolo, while speaking at a two-day capacity building workshop for CSOs/Media on anti-corruption issues and social inclusive reform initiatives, noted that the recently signed POCA Act gave EFCC the mandate to manage seized assets through its special department for asset management.

He, however, said having a department would not be adequate to ensure assets are properly managed.

According to him, in developed countries, specialised agencies manage seized assets, noting that:” Asset management requires some specific skills such that people with specialty in the management of the particular asset seized will be running the business to not allow the company to fold up, but unfortunately many seized assets have been allowed to go down the drain. So, what we are saying is that EFCC should strengthen its investigation capacity.”

The Chief Operating Officer of 21st Century Community Empowerment Initiative, Mr. Lukman Adefolahan, in his presentation, lamented the lack of a statutory mechanism for whistle blower and witness protection. He stressed the urgent need for a statute establishing a whistle blower and witness protection framework in the country.

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