According to the PUNCH, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been urged by the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Assessment and Status of All Recovered Loot Movable and Immovable Assets from 2002 to 2020 by Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for Effective Efficient Management and Utilization to prevent looters from recovering their loot from the ongoing auction of seized and forfeited assets.
Goldennewsng reports that Adejoro Adeogun, chairman of the committee, noted that his panel had previously recommended swift disposal of recovered loot, particularly fixed assets, he mentioned the possibility that looters would recover the forfeited assets through proxy.
Adeogun, on the other hand, stated that despite the sales, the committee would continue its investigation.
On December 6, 2022, appointed auctioneers began inspecting and auctioning 649 forfeited vehicles in nine states and the Federal Capital Territory.
In addition, approximately 39 mobile phones, 11 laptops, and other devices, as well as 15 vessels and barges from the states of Rivers, Delta, and Lagos, were up for auction.
The EFCC had listed for auction 144 luxury homes and land seized from convicted politicians, public servants, business moguls, and internet fraudsters as proceeds of their corrupt practices, including money laundering and fraud, misappropriation of funds, and fraudulent diversion, among others, as reported exclusively by the PUNCH on December 27, 2022.
However, Adeogun complained in an interview with our correspondent on Tuesday that the House does not have the authority to decide how or to whom the assets should be sold.
“We are aware,” he declared. The delaying of the auctioning was mentioned in our interim report in part. Seven to eight years ago, some of these assets were taken away. They have lost value. Since the Federal Government needs money to fund the budget, we advised that it should be done quickly because we were concerned at the time that they were depreciating. It’s to ensure that they get back as much value as they can.
Take a look at the majority of the seized tankers and ships. Poor storage has resulted in the loss of up to 80% to 90% of the value of some of them.
The anti-graft agencies are then permitted to conduct direct auctions by the enabling law. The EFCC should sell what it seized, likely to fair treatment.”
Adeogun stated, “That is possible, but we in the National Assembly have no control over that,” when asked about the possibility of looters purchasing their stolen goods through the auction. Although we have no control over what they do, our responsibility is to ensure that they followed the law.
The legislator stated that the assets should not be abandoned until within a few months, when a new government takes power.
Adeogun stated that his committee had completed “most of what we needed to do,” which included submitting an interim report to the House while laying the groundwork for the comprehensive report following the general elections.
The auction of the assets at the center of the investigation had initially been opposed by committee members.
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