The house of representatives has mandated its committee on financial crimes to carry out an audit of movable and immovable forfeited assets – including monies seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The resolution of the lower legislative chamber was sequel to a motion sponsored by Babjimi Benson, a lawmaker from Lagos state.
While moving the motion on the floor of the house on Tuesday, Benson noted that section 26 of the EFCC Act provides that the commission may seize any property subject to forfeiture after an attachment of such property.
“Acting under these provisions, the EFCC, since its establishment in 2003, has seized several movable and immovable properties and assets under interim orders of courts in order to preserve the assets and prevent them from being disposed of by the suspects while case were being investigated or tried,” the lawmaker told the house.
“The EFCC maintains dump sites in various parts of the country where it keeps movable assets while immovable assets are sealed off by the commission.
“Several assets of these have been there for several years while some are already at various stages of decay and convinced of the need to avoid this needless waste of recovered property which will otherwise have yielded some much needed revenues to the national treasury.”
On his part, Kingsley Chinda, lawmaker from Rivers state, said the audit should also include other government agencies, not the EFCC alone.
The committee will also ascertain the value of these assets and make recommendations to the house for further legislative action within six weeks.
The house adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by Yakubu Dogara, the speaker.
On Monday, Innocent Umezulike, a former chief judge forfeited N50 million.
Also recently, Andrew Yakubu, a former general managing director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was made to forfeit $9.8 million and £74,000 recovered by the EFCC.