The Nigerian government claims that under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, its international asset recovery efforts have resulted in the recovery of 390 million dollars.
In accordance with directives from the president and foreign court procedures, recovery efforts are being made by numerous foreign jurisdictions.
When presenting the accomplishments of the Ministry of Justice, its agencies, and parastatals under President Muhammadu Buhari’s scorecard for the years 2015 to 2023, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami made this announcement.
While giving the breakdown of the recovery Malami said, “the Ministry has recovered total sums of £6,324,627.66 (Six Million, Three Hundred & Twenty-Four Thousand, Six Hundred & Twenty Seven Pounds, Sixty-Six Pence); €5,494,743.71 (Five Million, Four Hundred and Ninety-Four thousand, Seven Hundred and Forty-Three Euro, Seventy-One Cents); and $390,000,000 (Three Hundred and Ninety Million dollars) from various jurisdictions.”
The Attorney General explained that some of the recovered funds are being utilized in the financing of critical infrastructures including Abuja – Kano Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, and Lagos – Ibadan Expressway.
Malami hinted that, due to the concerted effort by his office in conjunction with relevant Stakeholders, including the legislature, the President recently assented to Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act 2022 (POCA) on 12th May 2022.
Malami also spoke on law reforms, administration of justice and promotion of rule of law.
He said, the President often makes reference to his legal odyssey through the Courts in fighting electoral injustice.
Malami said, coupled with his anti-corruption posture, President Buhari brought to the front burner issues of judicial reforms and independence, adherence to the tenets of the rule of law, deepening democratic governance practices and strengthening institutional reforms across law enforcement and anti-corruption Agencies, as part of the cardinal policies, at the core of agenda of his administration.
He noted that, “it is apposite that an efficient justice delivery system is key to ensuring Nigeria’s economic growth and development, as well as ensuring the socio-economic wellbeing of citizens. Investors are often attracted to economies that have institutionalized functional judicial system and where the rule of law prevails.”
The Attorney General said, his Ministry in conjunction with relevant security and Law Enforcement Agency have developed a framework for Joint Investigation and Collaboration geared towards engagement of prosecution-guided investigation in terrorism cases, to address challenges of successful prosecutions.
Malami noted that this has led to the successful prosecution of seven thousand (7000) cases involving various offences including Maritime, Armed Robbery, Vandalization of Electrical Equipment and Pipelines, Financial matters, Cyber Crime, Kidnapping and Anti-corruption.
Malami added that, a total of 3,000 Terrorism cases have been profiled to date out of which over 1500 cases were prosecuted, with 397 convictions realized.
He said, “the Ministry is coordinating the next phase of terrorism related trials in collaboration with the Federal High Court, the Legal Aid Council, and the Defence Headquarters. In this regard, the Ministry is currently remodeling structures at the Wawa Cantonment, Kainji to accommodate eight (8) courtrooms, Judges’ Chambers, living accommodation, Lawyers’ dressing room and conveniences to make them conducive for Judges, Witnesses as well as Defendants.”
The justice Minister also, highlighted on the achievements recorded in other agencies under the Ministry of justice.