Inter-Ministerial Committee Embarks On Onsite Inspection Of Forfeited Assets To Federal Government

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The Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria has embarked on onsite inspection / verification of the forfeited assets to the Federal Government of Nigeria to confirm their existence and ascertain their current state.

The inspection took off after the Press briefing by the Solicitor General of the Federal and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice (SGF), who doubles as the Chairman of the Committee, Dayo Apata SAN, on Tuesday 2nd February, 2021 at Olusegun Obasanjo Auditorium, Abuja.

Apata noted that the presidential directive for the constitution of the Committee was given by the President in “recognition of the pressing need for the office of the Honourable 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 rather than each agency working in silos without proper supervision thereby leading to loss or wastage of the assets.

In his Briefing, the SGF disclosed that the Committee had collated and still updating the list of Assets that have been finally forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. He noted that the assets formerly forfeited are currently situated in 25 locations in Nigeria while awaiting the ones that have legal challenges.

Apata explained that the Committee had held several meetings and consultations after the inauguration and had worked assiduously to develop its Work Plan, Templates, Strategies and Modalities, in line with relevant Laws and Regulations to aid it in the discharge of its mandate within the time frame of Six Months given by President Muhammadu Buhari .

He further said that the Committee holds sacred the twin features of transparency and accountability paramount in the discharge of the National Assignment of disposing assets forfeited to the government. He added that accordingly, Members have executed declaration of conflict of interest and non- disclosure forms which according to him was the first time in the history of Nigeria.

“Furthermore, as part of the work-plan geared towards transparency, the Committee has adopted a Communication and Media Strategy to keep interested members of the public abreast of activities of the Committee. This is particularly in recognition of the fact that undoubtedly the disposal of forfeited assets is in the best interest of the public”. He informed.

While enumerating on what the committee has done so far, the SGF said, the Committee has sought the collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on the asset valuation process in line with extant rules and regulations; developed a set of frequently asked questions as it relates to the mandate and activities of the committee which will be released to the media / public; made publications in the Federal Tenders Journal and two (2) National Newspapers ThisDay and Daily Trust on 1st February, 2021 to kick- start the disposal process.

“Please note that the Committee intends to engage valuers and auctioneers as part of the process in the disposal of assets forfeited to the Federal Government and the list of assets will be published accordingly. Interested persons / firms are encouraged to look out for the publication and make submissions in the required format and within the specified timelines”, he advised.

However, Apata disclosed that, the Committee is expected to carry out the disposal of the following final forfeited assets;

Lot 1- Landed Properties; Lot 2- Plants, Machinery, Motor Vehicles, Electronics, Furniture and Equipment; Lot 3- Water Vessels (Canoes, Boats, Barges, Ship); Lot 4- Jewellery, Ornaments and Clothing Materials.

He assured Nigerians, on behalf of the AGF, that the composition of the Committee is broad based and represent all stakeholder interest that would guarantee efficiency and adherence to due process.

He emphasised that, “the Committee remains highly committed to ensure a radical departure from the past by ensuring that the government receives adequate value for forfeited assets and also to ensure that the assets are neither misappropriated nor mismanaged but are dealt with for public good”.

Members of the Committee led by the Chairman, Mr. Apata, SAN visited five locations where they identified properties to include house No. 6, Ethiope Close, Maitama; No. 19 Kumasi Crescent; No. 14 Adzope Crescent, Wuse; a commercial building, Platinum Resident Hotel, Owu fall Close at Amasco Platinum City, Galadimawa.

They also inspected forfeited vehicles located opposite the Central Mosque at the Central Business District, FCT, Abuja.

Omoyajowo Mercy
For: DD (Press & Public Relations)