President Muhammadu Buhari had charged anti-corruption agencies in the country to concentrate more on asset forfeiture regime in addition to prosecution of looters, in a bid to effectively tackle corruption.
The president said asset forfeiture will deny looters the gains from the proceeds of their crime; while also charging all relevant agencies to recover all looted assets within and outside Nigeria so that it would be used for the wellbeing of the citizens.
Buhari gave the charge on Thursday in Abuja at an anti- corruption event organised by the Presidential Adversary Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) with the theme, “The Fight Against Corruption, The Past, The Present and the Future”
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, he said he has neither shielded nor ordered the arrest of anyone, adding that he has given anti-corruption agencies enough resources including human, financial and material to deliver on their mandate.
He further said resources have been channeled towards the provision and upgrading of physical infrastructure, such as roads, railway lines, bridges, airport, seaports, housing projects amongst other as a result of the checkmate on corruption.
Buhari said there is a rebirth of the National Assembly as the issue of budget padding has been addressed which he says has resulted in the initiation and completion of constituency and Federal government project nationwide.
Explaining further the success of his administration, the President said through the deployment of many reforms and technology, the fight against corruption has improved the performance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s)
He expressed joy at the global recognition Nigeria is getting under his administration but said more can be achieved if families, schools, religious leaders, role model and traditional institution demonstrate genuine interest and commitment to the fight against corruption.
As Nigeria prepares for its 2023 general elections, Buhari urged Nigerians to reject politicians who will drag the country back to the dark ages in which corruption was made the order of the day.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the President Buhari administration, has in collaboration with the judiciary strengthened institutions in its effort to tackle corruption.
He said they have also cultivated international support which aided the repatriation of huge sums of money illegally kept outside the country.
He said there are increasing numbers of prosecution and convictions, with associated recoveries of large sums of money adding that they are making significant progress in their effort at eradicating corruption in the country.
Abubakar said the fight against corruption us an existential fight that must be won, noting that it is therefore one fight that should be relentless, ruthless and holistic.
He added that they will continue to engage with the anti-corruption agencies to improve investigations and prosecutions of corruption cases.
He promised to engage with judges to address delays and other constraint and to ensure compliance with due process and rule of law in the fight against corruption.