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Non-profit Open Governance Organisations Express Dissatisfaction on Delay of Passage of Proceeds of Crime Act

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A league of non-profit open governance organisations in the country have expressed dissatisfaction on the delay of passage of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) which was introduced in 2016.

The delay according to the organisations have the paved the way for the continual looting of the treasury.

Therefore, they are calling on the Nigerian government and its legislative arm to swiftly enact the bill that will set in motion the effective monitoring, management and accountability of recovered assets in the country.

According to BudgIT FoundationCivil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Transparency International in Nigeria who are championing this cause, over $800 million have so far been recovered between 2013 to 2020 but due to lack of documentation of these repatriated funds it create doubts on the side of the Federal Government its mantra of fighting corruption.

The continuous delay of passage of the Crime Act according to principal heads of these organisations may have contributed to the ongoing drilling of the suspended former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu allegedly accuse for not accounting for funds recovered by the commission.

“If passed, the law would provide a legal and institutional framework for the confiscation, forfeiture, recovery and management of assets or proceeds gained in unlawful activities,” Tolutope Agunloye, Deputy Manager at BudgIT noted.

Also, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, Executive Director, CISLAC in his view, the enactment of POCA into law which will create a database for recovered assets will aid the government to give real time accountability of these assets.

With this, Rafsanjani added that it will foster transparency and accountability of recovered assets thereby clipping the wings of impropriety and discretionary handling of looted funds.

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