Rep urges Buhari to endorse Asset Forfeiture Bill

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The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Elendu Ukeje, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to give impetus to his campaign against graft by assenting to the Asset Forfeiture Bill passed into law by the two chambers of the National Assembly.

Ukeje, who made the appeal in an interview, in Abuja, said the Assets Forfeiture Bill, if assented to, would play a pivotal and crucial role in combating financial crimes in the country.

He disclosed that three important legislations that were passed into law by the two houses of the National Assembly, and awaiting presidential assent, were the Foreign Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, the Asset Forfeiture Bill and the FATF Bill.

“The bills in my opinion will further enhance the executive arm of government’s commitment to fighting corruption, because in the Assets Forfeiture Bill, for instance, even if today we say a person had proceeds of crime there is no law in place that gives the federal government the powers to take the proceeds of crime back.

“The FATF law is the international law that tracks stolen funds. We need to sign it into law for us to be able to deal with the movement of money and money laundering.

“The foreign assistance in criminal matters bill helps us in extradition; it helps us when Nigerian citizens are arrested abroad and we want them to come back. We need to have that signed into law. Aside from the extradition treaties and laws, we must have those laws in place.

“So I am urging the executive arm of government, Mr. President to please sign these bills into law, so that whatever we do in this fight against corruption can have the legal backing that is required for it to be effective”, Ukeje said.

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