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Return recovered stolen assets to original victims – Group  tells  African govts




Civil Society Legislative and Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has asked African Governments to return recovered stolen assets to original victims.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Executive Director, CISLAC, Comrade Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, where CISLAC pointed that recovered assets have known owners who the citizens.

CISLAC also argued that the refusal of returning stolen assets by governments in the continent marginalises the original victims, and such practice is not acceptable.

Rafsanjani, who also doubles as Head of Transparency International Nigeria (TI), made CISLAC’s position known at the Global South Forum for Asset Recovery, in Nairobi, Kenya, where he said the case between the Nigerian government and Delta State, as well as the mismanaged COVID-19 funds in Kenya are good examples, adding that if not properly checked, the assets risk being re-looted by officials who don’t mean well for their country.

He noted that it is important for citizens of states to benefit from asset stolen away from them by corrupt rulers.

However, the CISLAC boss tasked African countries on legal framework in managing recovered stolen assets for accountability and transparency sake.

According to him, it will encourage countries outside the Africa where looters starch monies belonging to the people in order for them to believe in the fight against corruption and return loots to Africa.

Meanwhile, he (Rafsanjani) called on law enforcement and anti-graft agencies in Nigeria to adhere strictly to the recently passed Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 on seizures, confiscation and management of recovered assets.

He pointed that the new law does not solve the issue of proper coordination, but he commended the provision for anti-graft agencies to operate a database of recovered information, where citizens can know status of seized assets from anywhere and anytime.

He also lauded President MuhammaduBuhari, and the National Assembly for the legislation, which was long overdue as far as transparency in the fight against corruption is concerned.

But, he asked government to utilise recovered loots and assets for people oriented projects for all to benefit, and added that it is very pertinent for more cooperation and collaboration between state and non-state actors in asset tracing, repatriation and disposal.

The Global South Forum for Asset Recovery had representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United State, France, Germany, including representatives from the African Union, AU, Secretariat, GIZ, and others.

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