We can’t stop looters buying back their EFCC auctioned assets – Reps
Nigeria’s 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 Utilisation has stated that they can’t prevent looters from recovering their loot in the ongoing auction of seized and forfeited assets.
The committee’s Chairman, Adejoro Adeogun stated that his panel had earlier urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to design ways of preventing looters from recovering their loot in the ongoing auction.
According to him, it is very possible for looters to recover their forfeited assets by proxy, and he further decried that the House does not have the powers to determine how the assets should be disposed of, or to whom they should be sold.
He said, “We are aware and it’s the reason we wanted these properties auctioned immediately after confiscation. Part of what we wrote in our interim report is the dangers of delay in the auctioning. Some of these assets were seized seven to eight years ago. They have depreciated.
“It was our concern then that they were depreciating, so we advised that it should be done fast especially now that the Federal Government needs money to fund the budget. It is to make sure that they recover as much value as can be recovered.
“Look at most of the tankers and the ships that were seized. Some of them have lost up to 80 to 90 per cent of their value due to poor storage.
“Then, the enabling law allows the (anti-graft) agencies to auction directly. The EFCC is supposed to auction what it seized, subject to due process.”
The lawmaker stated that the assets should not remain abandoned till another government takes power in a few months.
Adeogun stated that his committee had done “most of what we need to do,” including presenting an interim report to the House, while the comprehensive one would be laid after the general elections.
It could be recalled that, the EFCC on December 6, 2022, commenced inspection and auction of 649 forfeited vehicles located across nine states and the Federal Capital Territory through appointed auctioneers.
Other assets listed for auction were 15 vessels and barges in Rivers, Delta and Lagos states, about 39 mobile phones, 11 laptops and other devices.
Report has it that the EFCC had listed for auction 144 luxury houses and lands seized from convicted politicians, public servants, business moguls and internet fraudsters as proceeds of their corrupt practices ranging from money laundering and fraud to misappropriation of funds and fraudulent diversion, among others.
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