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

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Abubakar Malami
Abubakar Malami

Alex Enumah in Abuja
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) is calling for greater support in facilitating the recovery of Nigeria’s stolen assets abroad just as he disclosed that the government was working assiduously to narrow the gap between confiscated assets abroad and the actual assets returned to the country.

Malami particularly urged for international cooperation in facilitating Mutual Legal Assistance for tracing, freezing, seizing, confiscating and return to Nigeria proceeds of corruption stashed abroad. Malami made the call while virtually delivering Nigeria’s country statement at the 14th United Nations Crime Congress held in Kyoto from 7 to 12 March 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 United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) by improving domestic conditions through comprehensive Strategic Action Plan.

“Nigeria condemns cybercrimes 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.