We’ve made progress in recovering looted assets, says Malami


• Fed Govt moves to avert P&ID case recurrence

The Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami (SAN) has said the Federal Government had made giant strides in the recovery of looted funds.

He said the government was working with anti-graft agencies, such as Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to ensure that such looted funds are recovered and returned to the country.

But the minister did not say how much the government had recovered so far and where the money was being kept. Malami spoke yesterday when he appeared before the House Committee on Justice for his ministry’s 2022 budget defence.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Justice, Ugonna Ozurigbo, did not allow the minister to respond to questions from fellow lawmakers on how much had been recovered, among other issues they raised.

Malami spoke about some constraints the ministry faced in accomplishing its constitutional tasks.

“In the circumstance,” he said, “we need to reconceptualise the existing funding pattern of the Justice sector.”

Malami added: “…The ministry was mandated to embark on the recovery of looted assets and we have recorded appreciable milestone in this regard as funds recovered are promptly deposited into government treasury, thereby increasing the revenue profile of the government.

“Presently, we are making efforts to ensure that we are allocated some cost of collection from recovered funds to finance our recovery operations. To date, there are large sums of illicit money stashed abroad for which we are working at close quarters with the ICPC and the EFCC as dependable allies to effect recovery…”

Also, Malami said the Federal Government has earmarked N1.1 billion in the 2022 budget of the Ministry of Justice to probe nine contracts who allegedly breached due process under previous administrations.

The erring contractors are said to be linked with transactions between Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited and some Nigerian business

The money is for the financing of the activities of a panel that would investigate the controversial company and its accomplices in the country.


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