Buhari Seeks Senate Approval For Proceeds Of Crime Bill

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President Buhari's New Year Address To Nigerians (FULL TEXT)

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the Proceeds of Crime Bill for necessary legislative work and passage by the Senate.

The Executive bill seeks, among others, to address the problem of lack of transparency and accountability associated with the management of recovered funds by anti-corruption agencies in the country.

The President in a letter to the upper chamber explained that the decision to transmit the piece of legislation to the National Assembly for consideration was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

According to the letter dated the 6th of October 2020, and read at Tuesday’s plenary by the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, the Proceeds of Crime Bill is critical in sustaining the fight against corruption, money laundering and illicit movement of stolen funds through the banking system and across Nigerian borders.

The letter read: “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 the 16th of September 2020 and was subsequently approved for transmission to the National Assembly.

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“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 essential and critical in building an enduring and 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.

“This bill will also address the problem of lack of transparency, accountability, and lack of credible records associated with the current procedure in the management of recovered funds by anti-corruption agencies and other institutions in Nigeria.

“An important feature of the bill is the creation of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Agency. The objects of the Agency include the enforcement and administration of the provisions of the Bill and the coordination of the recovery and management of the proceeds and instrumentalities of unlawful activity in Nigeria in all collaboration with anti-corruption and other law enforcement agencies.

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