The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has on Wednesday in a virtual meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of a new Anti-Corruption Agency called Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency.
The virtual session held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, approved the transmission of a bill named “Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Bill,” to the National Assembly.
The approval followed the presentation of a memo to the Council by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, Malami explained that the agency is necessary to manage assets that constitute proceeds of crimes as he pointed out that previous proceeds of crimes are scattered in different and multiple agencies.
He said, “The Federal Ministry of Justice presented to Council a memo about a bill which will seek the approval of the Council to transmit to the National Assembly for passage. It is Proceeds of Crime Recovery and management Agency Bill.
“It is in essence a bill that is targeted and intended to have in place a legal and institutional framework. The legal component of it is having a law. And the institutional component of it is to have an agency that will be saddled with the responsibility of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria.
“What happens before now is the proceeds of crime are scattered all over, and mostly in the hands of different and multiple agencies of Government inclusive of the police, the DSS, EFCC, and ICPC.
He described the proposed anti-corruption agency as, “Next level of transparency, next level of accountability in essence, will have in place an agency of government that is exclusively responsible for anything proceeds of crime”.
When asked whether the bill stemmed from his experience with the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, he said it had been long in planning.
And in an effort to identify it with previous administrations said, “Let me take you through the history lane as far as the proceeds of crime bill is concerned. There was an attempt some time back in 2007 to present to the FEC, it was unsuccessful, the bill was not passed.”