AGF, EFCC fights over asset recovery power

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has said there is no plan to reduce the asset recovery powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Malami who made the clarifications in a statement through his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu said the anti-graft agencies would retain their powers to seize assets from corrupt suspects.

Acting EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu on Thursday claimed there was a plot to amend the agency’s enabling Act to reduce its powers listing eight challenges facing the agency to include sponsorship of plot to amend the EFCC Act.

He said although some corrupt elements were behind the plot to whittle down the powers of EFCC as a way of fighting back, the commission will remain resolute noting that the EFCC has secured 1, 684 convictions in the last four years with many assets recovered from corrupt elements.

He said asset recovery is key in denying the corrupt the enjoyment of the proceeds of their crimes stating that the activities of the EFCC has also helped to restore the confidence of international investors in the economy

Magu, who made his position known at Anti-corruption Townhall meeting in Abuja, said all that is needed to fight corruption is “a combination of guts, integrity and determination.”

Furthermore, Magu asserted: “Asset recovery is key in denying the corrupt the enjoyment of the proceeds of his/her crime.

“It also allows the country to channel recovered funds into national development. Within this period, the Commission has recovered several hundreds of billions of Naira which are in various categories of forfeitures.

“Some of these funds were recovered for third party individuals, companies, as well as government agencies such as NNPC, FIRs, AMCON and also state governments. Several thousand of movable and immovable properties have been recovered within the period. These are also subject of either interim or final forfeiture orders.”