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Senate considers bill seeking to confiscate property acquired through illegal means

Senate considers bill seeking to confiscate property acquired through illegal means
January 26
14:09 2022

A bill seeking to confiscate and properly manage property acquired through illegal means has passed second reading at the senate.

The legislation passed second reading after Suileman Abdu Kwari, senator representing Kaduna north and sponsor of the bill, led a debate on it on Wednesday.

Kwari said the legislation, if passed and assented to, would enhance the operations of the law enforcement agencies that are empowered to seize and manage such assets.

The lawmaker said his bill will be harmonised with the proceeds of crime bill which is already before the national assembly.

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“When we pass this bill, agencies will be drawing from this because there will be cross-references to their laws,” the senator said.

“What we are trying to do is, we have before us proceeds of crime bill and we also are introducing this (seizure, confiscation and forfeiture) so that at the committee level, we will be able to harmonise these two bills.”

On his part, Smart Adeyemi, senator representing Kogi west, said any citizen that has acquired their property in a legitimate way should not have cause to worry.

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“I hold the view that people who have acquired their property legally and with good funds have no cause to fear,” Adeyemi said.

“Now that our economy is bleeding, we must look at how some people have acquired their properties.

“Those who have acquired their properties through questionable means should be ready to forfeit them. If people have properties they cannot account for, the government should go after them.”

Commenting on the bill, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the legislation is needed to sanitise the country’s system.

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“We need to pass such a bill because we need to sanitise our system,” Lawan said.

The bill was referred to the committees on anti-corruption and judiciary for further legislative input.

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