The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) at the weekend, commenced the process of disposal of assets forfeited to the Federal Government in line with the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act (POCA) signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 12th of May, 2022, with a bid opening to select auctioneers.
In his opening remarks at the event, the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, OFR, who was represented by a Board Member of the Commission, Dr Louis Mandama mni, hailed the impact of the bill on the anti-corruption war and described it as a tool which brought clarity and purpose to the previously murky waters of asset recovery and management.
According to the Chairman, the unregulated structure surrounding forfeited assets often led to huge revenue loses which ultimately defeated the purpose of recovery.
He further stated that the Proceeds of Crime Act introduced a standardized procedure for management and disposal of forfeited assets, helped set up a governing directorate, and ensured that all processes were deliberated on and executed by professionals who were experts in relevant fields. This, according to him, promotes transparency and prioritizes corruption prevention.
The ICPC boss also highlighted the fact that each agency that recovers assets was responsible for the disposal of the forfeited assets and the process was tamper-proof as it instructs that all proceeds be lodged in a dedicated account, domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria and accessible only at the discretion of the National Assembly and President of Nigeria.