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Why war against corruption may not succeed, by Gbajabiamila

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Gbajabiamila. Photo/TWITTER/PSEAKERGBAJA

Ministers, others shun hearing on recovered assets

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday, announced plans by the lower chamber to put in place laws that would ensure effective and efficient management of recovered assets for the benefit of Nigerians.

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He spoke during a public hearing by the House ad-hoc committee on the assessment and status of all recovered loots, movable and immovable assets from 2002 to 2020.

The committee had invited the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd); Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and the Auditor General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu to appear before it and explain the status of recovered assets under their custody.

Also invited are the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Navy, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority; Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption and commercial banks, among others, who all failed to show up.

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Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the Deputy Leader of the House, Peter Akpatason, said the measure would restore the confidence of Nigerians that the assets are being properly managed to provide revenue for the country.

According to the speaker, the hearing was part of a move to ensure that all avenues for generating income for the government meet their obligations to the people.

“Considering the dire straits of our national economy, it will be most unfortunate that valuable and potentially income-generating assets are misused, misappropriated or underutilized.

“The commitment to fight and eradicate corruption from Nigeria is significantly undermined if the Nigerian people do not have the confidence that those who have responsibility for these assets will use them to the national benefit.

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“The war against corruption will not likely succeed if Nigerians do not have confidence that recovered assets can be properly accounted for by those who have the responsibility.”

The committee chairman Mr. Adejero Adeogun, said the investigation was to strengthen the existing legislation and ensure transparency in the management of the recovered assets.

“As a committee of the House, we believe that the outcome of this investigation will illuminate the Looted Assets Recovery Process and that whatever recommendation we make at the end of the exercise would help in bringing out new legislation, strengthen existing ones and provide the impetus for more transparency in the recovery of looted assets and management of recoveries,” he added.

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