The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has whittled down the powers of the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies in areas of assets seizure.
The directive is contained in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette Vol. 106, No 163, titled, ‘Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulation 2019’, dated October 29, 2019.
According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, the AGF also scrapped all asset recovery and tracing committees and directed in Part 3, Section 5(1) of the gazette that all non-conviction-based forfeiture shall be conducted by his office. He emphasized that where a non-conviction-based forfeiture procedure arises, the law enforcement agency and anti-corruption agencies should transfer the matter to the office of the AGF.
“All non-conviction based forfeiture shall be conducted by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. Where a non-conviction based forfeiture procedure arises, the LEA (Law Enforcement Agency) and ACAs (Anti-Corruption Agencies) shall transfer the matter to the Office of the AGF,” it stated.
The gazette further states that all seized assets shall be registered by all the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). Also, all final forfeited assets recovered by agencies shall be handed over to the AGF within 60 days from the commencement of the regulations of management.
Malami warned that any agency head who failed to follow the new guidelines would be dealt with.