By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN, has tasked the newly-inaugurated Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations to make dignity its watchword.
Malami who stated this at the inauguration ceremony further reminded the committee that it has just six months to deliver.
The AGF who further charged the committee to work as a formidable team in accordance with extant laws, warned them to conduct themselves with utmost dignity, saying that the task before them was enormous.
Members of the 22-man committee which is chaired by the Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr. Dayo Apata, SAN, were drawn from relevant agencies that deal with recovery and disposal of government assets. They are Office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) among others.
The Committee on the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 is to provide legal and administrative frameworks for the investigation, tracing, seizure and disposal of stolen or illegally acquired assets and proceeds of crime.
It is expected to carry out its task within six (6) months of inauguration.
Some of the expected responsibilities include; implementation of the provisions of ATRM regulations, ensuring the transparency of the disposal of federal government forfeited assets among others.
While giving an opening address at the ceremony, the AGF said, “You may recall that pursuant to Mr President’s directive in October, 2018 following the recommendations of the Presidential Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets, there was need for an effective and efficient management of the recoveries.
“After the approval of the Committee by the President on the 27th October 2020, the Solicitor General of the Federation was made the Chairman while a time frame of six (6) months was allotted to dispose the assets,”
However, the AGF stated that the Asset Tracing, Recovering and Management Regulations, 2019, the Standard Operating Procedures and Yrrmst of Reference shall be the working tools to serve as guidelines for inter-ministerial committee and how best to actualize the quick disposal of the FGN assets in line with the President’s directive.
‘’Your mandate is to ensure the expedient disposal of the FGN forfeited assets and generate revenue for the federal government of Nigeria. Accordingly, I wish to solicit the cooperation of All members of this inter ministerial committee on that respect.’’
Speaking on behalf of the Committee after the inauguration, Dayo Apata SAN, said the members were honoured to be saddled with such responsibility.
The SGF noted that the setting up of the committee was germane, adding that it would enhance synergy between members drawn across board and their agencies.
Concluding, he assured that the committee would be guided in carrying out its task, saying transparency and accountability would also be its watchword.