Malami urges International community to help in returning stolen assets to Nigeria


By Abba Gwale

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) said Nigeria is working tirelessly to narrow the gap between confiscated assets abroad and the actual assets returned to the country.

This is contained in a statement signed by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice issued to newsmen in Abuja.

Malami made this call yesterday while virtually delivering Nigeria’s Country Statement at the 14th United Nations Crime Congress held in Kyoto from March 7 to 12, 2021.

He therefore, called for International Cooperation in facilitating Mutual Legal Assistance for tracing, freezing, seizing, confiscating, and returning to Nigeria, proceeds of corruption stashed abroad.

According to the minister, there is a need for the international community to provide political will in removing all barriers and obstacles to the full implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), particularly Article 51 on Asset Recovery and Return, including cases that make use of settlements or other non-trial resolutions.

“Our major objective should be to narrow the gap between confiscated assets and actual assets returned to their legitimate owners,” Malami said

He further saidbNigeria was hopeful that the adoption of the Political Declaration on crime prevention and criminal justice would create more action and greater efforts in crime prevention and criminal justice.

Malami pointed out that Nigeria continues to take measures to fulfill her obligations under UNCAC and United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) by improving domestic conditions through a comprehensive Strategic Action Plan.

“Nigeria condemns cyber crimes and terrorism in all manifestations and calls on states to strengthen cooperation at all levels to combat the threat posed by terrorism through enhancement of timely information sharing, logistical support, and capacity-building activities to affected states, including combating the linkage between terrorism and corruption, illicit financial flows, cybercrime, and trafficking in drugs,” he said.

“Nigeria is simultaneously addressing the socio-economic challenges at the root of crimes. It is, therefore, pertinent to underscore the importance of more international community investment in stakeholders’ capacity building to improve crime prevention and criminal justice efforts,” he added

Malami said Nigeria develops laws and policies to prevent crime and ensure justice for victims, offenders, and society.

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