New regulation not to reduce EFCC powers – AGF

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), said on Thursday that his newly issued regulation on assets tracing and recovery was meant to provide coordination and not to take over the powers of law enforcement agencies involved in the recovery of ill-gotten assets from looters.

The PUNCH had on Thursday reported that Malami’s new directive gazetted as Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette Vl. 106, No. 163, and titled, ‘Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulation 2019,’ scrapped all existing assets recovery and tracing committees.

The provisions of the new regulation, according to The PUNCH’s report, also stated that all non-conviction-based forfeiture shall be conducted by the AGF office.

But a statement issued by the minister’s media aide, Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, on Thursday said the law enforcement agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission still retained their powers on assets tracing and recovery.

The statement read in part, “The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) observed that the  Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019, was informed by the need to regulate the procedures for the tracing, recovery, management and disposal of illegally acquired assets as required under various extant legislation.

“He also added that Section 4 of the regulation retains all the powers of law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies in their extant laws as it relates to asset recovery and therefore the issue of taking over the powers of these agencies does not arise.”

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