The Inter-ministerial Committee on the disposal of assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, has commenced the process of selling final forfeited assets in 25 locations across the country.
Chairman of the committee, Dayo Apata, made the disclosure at a press conference on Tuesday.
Apata, who noted that the assets recovery and disposal process are part of the administration of criminal justice, said the committee comprised of representatives from the presidency, police, navy, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), as well as ministries of finance, justice, works and housing, among others.
He said: “It needs to be emphasised that asset recovery and disposal constitutes an integral part of the administration of criminal justice which are all within the purview of the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation,”
“The Committee is working assiduously to complete its assignment within the six (6) months’ time frame as spelt out in the presidential directive and is guided by the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and its Terms of Reference (TOR).
“The composition of the Committee reflects a fair spread across relevant MDAs. It is interesting to note that the composition of the Committee cuts across institutions not only involved in the asset recovery but also institutions with special skills, competences and oversight of security over the assets.”
“Please note that the Committee intends to engage valuers and auctioneers as part of the process in the disposal of assets forfeited to the Federal Government and the list of assets will be published accordingly,” he said.
“Interested persons/firms are encouraged to look out for the publication and make submissions in the required format and within the specified timelines.
“Since inauguration, the committee has held several meetings and consultations and has worked assiduously to develop its work plan, templates, strategies and modalities, in line with relevant Laws and Regulations, to aid it in the discharge of its mandate within the set time limit.
“The Committee holds sacred the twin features of transparency and accountability paramount in the discharge of this monumental national assignment of disposing assets forfeited to the government. Accordingly, members have executed Declaration of Conflict of Interest and Non-Disclosure Forms. This is the first time in Nigeria.”
Some of the assets to be sold include landed properties, plants, machinery, motor vehicles, jewellery, among others.
While Apata did not mention the particular assets, EFCC had in the past secured court orders for final forfeiture of some assets.
In 2019, a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the permanent forfeiture of $40 million worth of jewellery seized from the residence of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Also in 2019, a court ordered the permanent seizure of $8.4 million (about N3billion) and N9.2 billion, belonging to wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience Jonathan.
After the press conference, the committee visited four locations including a house at 14 Adzope Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, a property recovered from a former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh.
The committee also visited EFCC’s vehicle dump site near the National Mosque; The Platinum Residence Exquisite Luxury Accommodation, located in AMSSCO Platinum City, Galadimawa; and a house located at 6 Ethiope Close Maitama.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 9, 2020, inaugurated the committee following a presidential directive of October 27, recognising the need for the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to coordinate and oversee a uniform process or common platform for the recovery, management and sale of all assets forfeited to the Federal Government.