CISLAC tells African anti-graft agencies to return stolen assets to original owners

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Civil Society Legislative and Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has charged anti-graft and law enforcement agencies in Africa to return stolen money and recovered assets back to their original owners.

Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, the Executive Director,CISLAC said this when he spoke at the Global South Forum for Asset Recovery, in Nairobi Kenya where he doubled as the head of Transparency International Nigeria.

According him, the practice of marginalising the original victims of stolen assets whom the assets were stolen from in the first place when recovered by governments across the continent was not good.

“The case between the Nigerian government and Delta as well as the mismanaged COVID-19 funds in Kenya were good examples.

” The practise , if not properly checked, the assets risk being re-looted by officials who do not mean well for their country.

“It is important for citizens of states to benefit from asset stolen away from them by corrupt rulers.

“I charge African countries to come up with legal frameworks for the management of recovered assets,” he said.

Rafsanjani said that the move would encourage countries outside the Africa where the assets were located to send such assets back to the continent.

He also charged law enforcement and anti-graft agencies in Nigeria to adhere strictly to the recently passed Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Act, 2022 on issues of seizures, confiscation and management of recovered assets.

Rafsanjani said while the new law does not solve the issue of proper coordination, the provision for anti-graft agencies to operate a database of recovered information where citizens can know the status of seized assets was commendable.

He lauded President Mohammadu Buhari and the National Assembly for the legislation which according to him was long overdue.

He also said that recovered assets shouldn’t be used for bogus projects, but rather projects that would benefit the citizens.

The CISLAC boss also called for more cooperation between state and non state actors in asset tracing, repatriation and disposal.

The forum in attendance representatives of civil society organisations in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, U.S, France, Germany, and the African Union Secretariat.(NAN)

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