The Nigerian Senate on Monday queried a policy directive that stipulates the transfer of all forfeited assets to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes faulted the policy on forfeited assets and recoveries of proceeds of crime and the power granted the AGF’s office to manage same.
A member of the Committee, Senator Abba Moro at the 2022 budget defence raised the query saying it was wrong for the AGF to be the custodian of forfeited assets, which he added, wasn’t the practice anywhere in the world.
The lawmaker submitted that assets recovered should have been sold to generate funds for budget financing, wondering what those assets should be doing in Attorney-General’s office, particularly that the government also spent money to recover the assets.
Earlier, the Director of Finance, Gamma Joda Mohammed who represented the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission Commission (EFCC) revealed that the policy that compels the anti-graft agency to transfer recoveries to the AGF’s office has been in existence since 2019.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee on Anti- Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Sulaiman Kwari said the EFCC Bill on Asset Management currently before the National Assembly is aimed at addressing the abnormality in the management of the final forfeited assets of crimes.
Kwari decried the poor funding of the agency by the Federal Government over the years, stressing that the agency would do more with adequate funding, promising that they will increase their 2022 budget.
The Director of Finance of the Commission while defending the 2022 budget proposal said the total fund proposed for the agency in 2022 is N31. 3 billion of which N25.8 billion is earmarked for personnel cost, N3.6 billion for overhead while the sum of N 1.8 billion is for capital expenditure
The Director of Operations of EFCC, Mr Abdulkarim Chukkol who also spoke on the operation of the Commission, said EFCC only has 15 offices across the Federation including the headquarters in Abuja.
Also, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) headed by its Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) defended the Commission’s budget before the committee.
Prof. Owasanoye said the total budget proposed for ICPC in 2022 is N12.9 billion of which N9.8 billion is for personnel cost while the sum of N1.8 billion is for capital expenditure