Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, has reportedly said the federal government can seize assets from anyone who is unable to explain the source of their wealth.
Osinbajo said this on Tuesday, May 14, when he declared the anti-corruption conference organised by the office of the vice president and the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) in Abuja open.
The vice president said the Supreme Court in a lead judgment of Akaahs JSC, recently held that forfeiture under section 17 of the advanced fee fraud and other related offences act is a civil process which neither requires the criminal conviction of the property owner nor his innocence.
“This opens the door for forfeiture of assets that the purported owner cannot explain, whether or not an allegation of corruption is made,” he said adding that the challenge of corruption has made Nigeria’s debt and poverty figures double in spite of the highest oil revenues in Nigeria’s history.
He said the government of Buhari knows that it has not won the battle against corruption.
“By that, we mean the stealing of huge public resources directly from the treasury; usually at the highest levels of executive authority; and the stealing of budgeted funds through various schemes.
“We are now poised to deal with the wider problem of systemic corruption; especially where the average person interacts with government.
“Corruption in the issuance of contracts, licenses and other government approvals; there is no reason why any Nigerian should have to give bribe to law enforcement agents for obtaining drivers licenses or passports or to clear goods at our ports,” he said.
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The vice president said all the relevant government agencies have shown a serious commitment to eradicating these forms of corruption.
“Our next level is to create the environment for collaboration between our agencies, civil society and other stakeholders,” he added.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), recently called on Nigerian parents to be change agents who can help the nation overcome the varied challenges that corruption has placed in its path to development.
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