African Anti-graft Heads Seek Repatriation of Stolen Assets from Europe, US

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Heads of anti-corruption agencies in Africa weekend called on Heads of Government in Europe, the United States and other jurisdictions to work towards speedy and unfettered repatriation of recovered assets to African countries.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the 9th Commonwealth Regional Conference of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa in Kampala, Uganda.

The event, which held from May 6 to10, 2019, was attended heads of anti-graft agencies in Africa with the theme:“Time to Act: Prevent Corruption for Sustainable Development.”

A statement issued yesterday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said the conference expressed concerns over the heavy losses that Africa suffered as a result of illegal transfers of proceeds of corruption and crime out of the continent, saying there was the need to strengthen cooperation and collaboration among the anti-corruption agencies in Commonwealth Africa for purposes of facilitating asset recovery and return.

President of the Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, declared the conference open on May 6, 2019 while the Commonwealth Secretary General, Hon. Patricia Scotland, spoke on remarkable achievements of anti-graft agencies in Africa.

The Acting Chairman of the EFCC and the immediate past Chairman of Association of Anti- Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa, Ibrahim Magu, in his speech, highlighted major achievements of the commission under his watch.

Experts from different areas of specialisation, gave illuminating experiences and solutions on how to tackle the menace of corruption.

The communique further urged anti-corruption agencies to emulate the EFCC and acquire polygraph technology as part of their investigative and integrity testing process.

The EFCC is the only agency in Commonwealth Africa using the technology for corruption cases in
courts.

An investigator with the commission had demonstrated the use of the polygraph just as other agencies made enquiries from the EFCC on how to acquire the technology for positive development in anti-graft war.

“The conference also expressed concerns over the heavy losses that Africa suffered as a result of illegal transfers of proceeds of corruption and crime out of Africa.

“It added that there was the need to strengthen cooperation and collaboration among the anti-corruption agencies in Commonwealth Africa for purposes of facilitating asset recovery and return.

“Anti-corruption agencies to convey to their respective governments the importance of having integrity officers within government ministries, departments and agencies”, it said.

The statement said the agencies were encouraged to consider the multi-agency team approach in the implementation of anti-corruption strategies”, it said.