By Gift Chapi Odekina
The House of Representatives on Friday queried the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the delay in disposing assets seized from former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, among others.
This was as the chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, appeared before the House Ad-hoc Committee on Assessment and Status of All Recovered Loots Movable and Immovable Assets from 2002 to 2020 by Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for Effective Efficient Management and Utilisation, headed by Adejoro Adeogun.
Adeogun said it was not ideal to continue keeping such recoveries as they were losing value over time.
“Given the financial situation of Nigeria, shouldn’t we just auction these things fast and put the money to use. Why does it take so long to turn these assets into cash to fund the budget?” Adeogun queried.
Bawa at the meeting valued the worth of jewellery seized former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, at over N14 billion. He also put the worth of house seized from her at $80 million.
He said though they got the forfeiture order for assets recovered from the former Petroleum Minister in 2019, they were yet to be auctioned.
He said they were looking to a presidential committee to auction all the assets and deposit the money appropriately.
He attributed the delay in disposing to long court processes and administration exigences.
He said with the setting up of the committee by the government, all assets recovered by the EFCC, as well as those recovered by other authorize agencies would be disposed of quickly.
He assured that once all recovered asssets are disposed, teh Commision would be dealing with issues on a case by case basis and not let them accumulate again.
Bawa, who denied that recovered loot was being re-looted, said the Commission was going to digitize all its processes for more efficiency and transparency.