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FEC Approves Establishment Of New Anti-Corruption Agency

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The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the establishment of a new Anti-Corruption Agency named Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agenc, AIT news reports.

The Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari during a virtual session at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, approved the transmission of a bill named “Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Bill,” to the National Assembly.

The approval followed the presentation of a memo to the council by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the minister explained that the agency is necessary to mange assets that constitute proceeds of crimes as he pointed out that previous proceeds of crime are scattered in different and multiple agencies.

Malami said: “The Federal Ministry of Justice presented to Council a memo about a bill which will seek the approval of the Council to transmit to the National Assembly for passage. It is Proceeds of Crime Recovery and management Agency Bill.

“It is in essence a bill that is targeted and intended to have in place a legal and institutional framework. The legal component of it is having a law. And the institutional component of it is to have an agency that will be saddled with the responsibility of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria.

“What happens before now is the proceeds of crime are scattered all over, and mostly in the hands of different and multiple agencies of Government inclusive of the police, the DSS, EFCC, and ICPC.

According to him, the new law seeks to move the fight against corruption to the next level.

He added: “Next level of transparency, next level of accountability in essence, will have in place an agency of government that is exclusively responsible for anything proceeds of crime.

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When asked whether the bill stemmed from his experience with the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, he said it had been long in planning.

Malami further explained: “Let me take you through the history lane as far as the proceeds of crime bill is concerned. There was an attempt some time back in 2007 to present to the FEC, it was unsuccessful, the bill was not passed.

On the controversy surrounding the new gazette he issued, which has been seen as an attempt to weaken the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), he said: “The first question has to do with rules of professional conduct with particular reference to a gazette in contention. My response is simple, that the matter is being interrogated and I will make statement at the appropriate time.

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