Malami Seeks Greater Support in Recovery of Nigeria’s Stolen Assets

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Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami

By Alex Enumah

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), has called for greater support in facilitating the recovery of Nigeria’s stolen assets abroad.

He also disclosed that the government is working assiduously to narrow the gap between confiscated assets abroad and the actual assets returned to the country.

Malami particularly canvassed for international cooperation in facilitating mutual legal assistance for tracing, freezing, seizing, confiscating and returning to Nigeria proceeds of corruption stashed abroad.

The AGF made the call while virtually delivering Nigeria’s Country Statement at the 14th United Nations Crime Congress held in Kyoto from March 7 to 12, 2021.

The minister, according to a statement by his media aide, Dr Umar Gwandu, said there was the need for the international community to demonstrate political will in removing all barriers and obstacles to the full implementation of the provisions of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) particularly Article 51 on Asset Recovery and Return, including cases that make use of settlements or other non-trial resolutions.

Malami stressed further that: “Our major objective should be to narrow the gap between confiscated assets and actual assets returned to their legitimate owners.”

He said Nigeria was hopeful that the adoption of the Political Declaration on crime prevention and criminal justice will spur more action and greater efforts in crime prevention and criminal justice.

While maintaining Nigeria’s commitments to the 2030 Agenda, Malami pointed out that Nigeria will continue to take measures to fulfill her obligations under the UNCAC and United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) by improving domestic conditions through comprehensive Strategic Action Plan.

“Nigeria condemns cyber crimes and terrorism in all manifestations and calls on states to strengthen cooperation at all levels to combat the threat posed by terrorism through enhancement of timely information sharing, logistical support and capacity-building activities to affected states, including combating the linkage between terrorism and corruption, illicit financial flows, cybercrime and trafficking in drugs,” he said.

Malami said Nigeria develops laws and policies to prevent crime and ensure justice for victims, offenders and society.

“Nigeria is simultaneously addressing the socio-economic challenges at the root of crimes. It is, therefore, pertinent to underscore the importance of more international community investment in stakeholders’ capacity building in order to improve crime prevention and criminal justice efforts,” he said.