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30 Aug 2017

Why Nigeria is yet to retrieve $15m seized by South Africa – AGF, Malami

The Nigeria’s Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami has explained why the $15m seized in South Africa during the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration is yet to be retrieved.
He anchored the reason on what he termed ‘diplomatic intricacies and the long process.’

According to him, such hindrances also accounted for why the government was yet to record appreciable success in its efforts to repatriate looted funds.

Malami, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday while reviewing the activities of his ministry in the last one year.

He, however, declined to answer a question on the rift between him and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, over the country’s suspension from the Egmont Group.

His words, “As it relates to the money in South Africa and other countries, my reaction to recovery generally is that it is a process; a process involving mostly nations whose legal systems differ.

“The process in respect of diplomatic consideration equally plays a key role over and above international convention and best practices.

“So, when multiplicity of legal systems is in issue, multiplicity of diplomatic engagement is in contention, delay is naturally bound to set in.

“But, one thing I want to state categorically is that the government is doing whatever is possible to ensure the recovery of moneys that relate to Nigeria in all jurisdictions and not necessarily limited to South Africa,” he said.

Malami said the Federal Government planned a committee on how to defray the N113billion judgment debt pending against it and its agencies to avoid its assets being attached.

He said the Judgment Debt Verification Committee, to be headed by the AGF, will, among others, ensure compliance with enforcement of court judgments and orders against government and its agencies.

Malami said memos on the recommendations of the Senator Ken Nnamani-led Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee would soon be presented before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for deliberation and adoption, following which Bills relating to the recommendations would be sent to the National Assembly.

On the prosecution of Boko Haram suspects being kept in custody, Malami said a speedy trial had been planned.

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