Over 2,000 assets forfeited by Diezani, others rot away

Over 2,000 assets, including proceeds of corruption, confiscated from politically exposed persons, civil servants and other individuals are currently rotting away, findings by Sunday PUNCH have revealed.

This is happening at a time the Federal Government is facing a cash crunch that has made it resort to borrowing from multilateral agencies and China to pay salaries and execute capital projects.

Some of the assets include over 90 sea vessels, scores of fuel-laden tankers, trucks, exotic cars, residential and commercial buildings, machinery, phones, laptops, jewellery, furniture, equipment and other items, which have been left at the mercy of the elements.

The assets were recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Police Force, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and others.

Apart from this, many of the assets have also been cornered by top officials of the agencies and the government or sold to their cronies illegally.

A report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets titled, ‘Final Report of the Presidential Investigation Committee on the EFCC Federal Government Recovered Assets and Finances from May 2015 to May 2020’, stated that the former acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, could not give a proper account of 332 out of the 836 recovered properties in March 2018.

The panel alleged that recovered properties were taken over by some top EFCC officials or sold to Magu’s friends and cronies at giveaway prices.

It also disclosed that the retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police was unable to account for the interest generated from the N550bn cash recovered from 2015 to 2020.

The report stated, “A disturbing example is the two vessels that allegedly sank at the NNS Beecroft Naval Base, Lagos, and the NNS Pathfinder Naval Base in Port Harcourt without trace under the watch of the acting chairman of the EFCC.

“The vessels named MT GOOD SUCCESS, MV PSV DERBY and MV THAMES were allowed to sink in spite of several warnings from the Navy on the need to evacuate the petroleum products in the vessels.”

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the damning report led to the constitution of the Justice Ayo Salami committee, which probed Magu’s tenure and recommended his sacking and prosecution.

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