The inter-ministerial committee on the disposal of assets forfeited to the federal government, has commenced the process of selling final forfeited assets in 25 locations across the country. Dayo Apata, chairman of the committee, made this known yesterday at a press conference.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 9, 2020 inaugurated the committee following a presidential directive of October 27, recognising the need for the office of the attorney-general of the federation to coordinate and oversee a uniform process or common platform for the recovery, management and sale of all assets forfeited to the federal government.
Apata said the assets recovery and disposal process were part of the administration of criminal justice.
He said the committee, which comprised representatives from the Presidency, Police, Navy, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), as well as Ministries of Finance, Justice, Works and Housing, among others, is working towards completing its assignment within six mon-ths. Some of the assets to be sold include landed properties, plants, machinery, motor vehicles, jewelry, etc.
“It needs to be emphasized that asset recovery and disposal constitutes an integral part of the administration of criminal justice which are all within the purview of the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation,” he said.
Although the statement was silent on the particular assets, EFCC had in the past secured court approval for final forfeiture of some assets.
In 2019, a federal high court in Lagos ordered the permanent forfeiture of $40 million worth of jewellery seized from the residence of Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources, to the federal government.
In the same year, a court ordered the permanent seizure of $8.4 million (about N3billion) and N9.2 billion, belonging to Patience Jona-than, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
A final forfeiture of Dews of Hope Hospital, Owerri, a N1.5 billion state-of-the-art 200-bed hospital, allegedly linked to an aide of Rochas Okorocha, a former governor of Imo state and serving Senator, was granted.
After the press briefing, the inter-ministerial committee visited four locations including a house at 14 Adzope Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, a property recovered from Alex Badeh, a former chief of air staff and later chief of defence staff.
Other locations visited by the committee include EFCC’s vehicle dump site near the National Mosque; The Platinum Residence Exquisite Luxury Accommodation, located in AMSSCO Platinum City, Galadimawa; and a house located at 6 Ethiope Close Maitama.