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Stats: 1076460 members, 1264562 topics. Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2013 at 08:40 AM
|Efcc Seeks Power To Seize Assets Of Sitting Presidents, Vps, Govs by DeepZone: 7:36am On Aug 18, 2008|
EFCC seeks power to seize assets of sitting presidents, VPs, govs
By Chiawo Nwankwo
A draft bill sent to the National Assembly by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission might see public officers covered by immunity forfeiting ill-gotten assets while still in office.
EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri
Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution grants immunity from prosecution to the President, vice-president, governors and their deputies.
But the bill seeks to make assets forfeiture retroactive under its civil forfeiture legal mechanism that will affect anybody connected with the unlawful acquisition of public or private property.
Although both the Senate and the House of Representatives are currently on annual vacation, the EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, has visited the House twice this month, apparently to lobby its leadership for an easy passage of the bill.
Before she met the Speaker, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, behind closed-doors last Thursday, she had held discussions with the former chairman of the House Committee on Financial Crimes, Drugs and Narcotics, Mr. Dave Salako, who was directed by the House leadership to receive her.
Waziri reportedly told newsmen that the creation of special courts to hasten the trial of suspects would be appreciated. Salako, who described the initiative as a welcome development, said that no legislative effort would be spared to strengthen the commission, in order to meet the challenges facing it.
The draft bill under general provisions with a sub-title- “Immunity” on option 1, spells out the measure as it affects the public officers covered by immunity. It states under options one and two, “Any grant of immunities or jurisdictional privileges will not bar the application or subsequent grant of restraint or forfeiture orders under this Act. The director (name of body/institution) will not be barred from seeking application to the High Court for a restraint, freezing or forfeiture order, and the High Court shall not be barred from exercising its powers under this Act on the grounds of jurisdictional privilege immunity.”
Explaining the application of the envisaged law, the bill states, “The Act applies to the forfeiture of any proceeds or instrumentalities of (unlawful conduct/activity) that was an (unlawful conduct/activity) at a the time the commission of the (unlawful conduct/activity) or intended commission of the unlawful conduct/activity) but was (prior to the coming into force of the Act/whether before or after the passing of this Act.”
According to the bill, application for forfeiture of asset or a restraining order can be brought before a court, “whether or not a person has been charged or convicted of an offence, and whether or not an application has been brought for a confiscation order/pecuniary penalty order/forfeiture order, after a criminal conviction.”
On requests to enforce orders of confiscation or seizure of property from abroad, the bill says that such an order will be regarded to be in force and will not be subject to further appeal at the time of filing.
It says, “The competent authority of the Federal Republic of Nigeria may cancel the registration of any order by filing a notice to that effect (if it) is satisfied that the order has ceased to have effect in the foreign state or, if applicable, has been satisfied.”
According to the bill, the civil forfeiture principle is influenced by the need to remove the profit incentive from organised crimes. Besides, public treasury looting, other organised crimes such as drug and human, fraud and economic crimes traffickers are targeted by the bill.
Our correspondent gathered that persons targeted in the bill will be required to prove that they acquired their assets legitimately. The EFCC is currently prosecuting a number of governors for alleged corruption.
|Re: Efcc Seeks Power To Seize Assets Of Sitting Presidents, Vps, Govs by DeepZone: 7:37am On Aug 18, 2008|
silly people!!! You no fit seize common Ibori's asset and e come be Yaradua wey fit fire you.
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