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FG moves to safeguard recovered loot

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EFCC, ICPC, others may lose managerial powers
The Senate, yesterday, received an executive bill that seeks to address the challenge of opaqueness in the management of recovered funds by anti-corruption agencies and other institutions in the country.

When passed, the piece of legislation might strip the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CBC) and others of their powers to manage repatriated loot.

In his correspondence to the upper legislative chamber, President Muhammadu Buhari said the decision was taken and approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

According to the letter dated October 6, 2020 and read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the Nigerian leader stressed that the ‘Proceeds of Crime Bill’ was critical to the sustenance of his administration’s anti-corruption fight.

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He added that the proposed law was also key to containing money laundering and illicit movement of funds through the banking system and across the nation’s borders.

The document read in part: “I am pleased to inform the Distinguished Senators that the above mention bill was presented to the Federal Executive Council, in council memo EC (2020) 159 on September 16, 2020, and was subsequently approved for transmission to the National Assembly.

“Please recall that this bill was passed by the National Assembly in 2019, but was not granted assent due to some issues that were identified during the review.

“The Proceeds of Crime Bill is critical in building a sustainable foundation for the fight against corruption, money laundering and illicit movement of stolen funds through the banking system and across the Nigerian borders.

“The bill will also improve the ability of law enforcement agencies to seize, freeze and confiscate stolen assets in Nigeria, while observing all related constitutional and human rights laws.”

An important feature of the bill is the creation of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Agency for effectiveness.

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