The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), have been stripped of the powers to seize assets of people being investigated and such powers transferred to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).
This was revealed in a recently published government gazette, Vol. 106, No 163, titled, “Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulation 2019’’, dated October 29, 2019, “All non-conviction based forfeiture shall be conducted by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. “Where a non-conviction based forfeiture procedure arises, the LEA (Law Enforcement Agency) and ACAs (Anti-Corruption Agencies) shall transfer the matter to the Office of the AGF,’’ the gazette states in part.
Until now, the EFCC and the ICPC had the powers to initiate non-conviction based forfeiture.
In addition, all seized assets shall be registered by all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government while all final forfeited assets recovered by agencies shall be handed over to the AGF within 60 days from the commencement of the regulations of management.
On the prosecution of future corruption cases, the Attorney-General said henceforth all programs regarding anti-corruption “must be done with the express approval of his office.’’ Persecondnews reports that another gazette No. 162, entitled, “Guidelines for the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2021’, on getting approval for the prosecution of corruption cases by the anti-graft bodies, has also been published.