The disposal of all assets forfeited to the Federal Government by indicted corrupt politicians and public office holders are to be completed within the next six months, the Inter-Ministerial Committee set up to handle that process disclosed on Tuesday.
The Committee inaugurated on November 9, 2020 following a Presidential directive last October 27 said the forfeited assets are currently situated in 25 locations across the country have been collated and the final list currently being updated.
The final forfeited assets to be disposed of in four Lots include landed properties in Lot 1; plants, machinery, motor vehicles, electronics, furniture and equipment in Lot 2; water vessels, consisting canoes, boats, barges, and ship in Lot 3, and jewelry, ornaments and clothing materials in Lot 4.
The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation is coordinating the recovery, management and disposal of all the assets forfeited to the Federal Government, while the Committee’s Secretariat will be in the Asset Recovery & Management Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Giving an update on its assignment in Abuja, Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee and Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, said they are determined to complete its assignment within the six months’ time-frame spelt out in the presidential directive.
Mr Apata, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the work of the committee is guided by the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019; Standard Operating Procedures (SOP); the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and all relevant extant rules and regulations, in addition to its terms of reference (TOR) given by the president.
He said the regulations were made pursuant to the extant laws of the relevant government agencies with a view to ensuring transparency, accountability, and synergy in the management and sale of forfeited assets.
On the composition of the Committee, the Chairman said members were selected to reflects a fair spread of representation across all relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
They include institutions that are not only involved in the asset recovery exercise, but also those with special skills, competences and oversight of security over the assets.
The committee membership are drawn from the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President representing the Presidency; Federal Ministry of Justice (represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, who is also the Chairman; Federal Ministry of Finance; Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, and Auditor-General of the Federation.
Others include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission; Nigerian Army (Joint Task Force); Nigerian Navy; Nigeria Police; Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps, and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
The committee also has representatives from the Department of State Security; National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; Department of Petroleum Resources; National Oil Spillage, Detection and Response Agency; Bureau of Public Procurement; representatives of civil society organization, youths, and the media.
Mr Apata said other Nigerians with exceptional expertise that could add value to the Committee as deemed fit by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice could be coopted into the committee.
The Committee, the Chairman said, has collated and still updating the list of assets finally forfeited to the federal government currently situated in 25 locations across the country.
Apart from onsite verification and auditing of the forfeited assets to confirm their existence and ascertain their current state, Mr Apata said the committee is seeking the collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on the asset valuation process in line with extant rules and regulation.
As part of the disposal process, the committee said it intends to engage the services of asset valuers and auctioneers.
The mandate of the Committee includes to dispose of both movable and immovable assets recovered from indicted corrupt public officials and looters of government treasury.