National Assembly to make EFCC’s seizure of graft proceeds easy

National Assembly Complex Abuja.

• Reps probe dismissal of PTAD directors
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The National Assembly has disclosed that it would soon pass a bill to make it easy for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to seize fraudulently acquired property.

The Chairman, House Committee on Economic and Financial Crimes, Kayode Oladele disclosed this in an interview with The Guardian. He said if passed, the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies would no longer face unnecessary legal hurdles to recover proceeds of corruption from culprits.

Oladele explained that the bill would provide a non-conviction-based recovery of assets that were adjudged to be proceeds of crime. Currently the EFCC Act and the ICPC Act are all based on criminal investigation and prosecution.

He said the National Assembly has made significant inroads towards the passage of the legislation tagged “Proceeds of Crime Bill.” Oladele said: “Under the existing rule, an accused must be arraigned before a court and convicted before he could forfeit his property to the Federal Government or to the victim of crime. It is upon that conviction that the court could give a consequential order of forfeiture of assets pursuant to section 20 of the EFCC Act.

Meanwhile, members of House of Representatives Committee on Pension yesterday queried the sacking of four directors of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

The aggrieved directors had in the petition, accused the Executive Secretary of PTAD of “unfair termination of their appointments.” The disengaged directors are Roz Ben Okagbue (Director Pensioner Support Services department), Taiwo Ogundipe (Director Parastatals Pension department), Godson Ukpevo (Director of Civil Service Pensions department) and Atiku Saleh, (Director Police Pension department).

While conducting an investigative hearing on the petition, the committee Chairman, Hassan Adamu, described the sacking as a violation of existing laws.

The representative of the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Mr. Suleiman Shelleng, refuted the claims by the disengaged directors, insisting that due process was followed before terminating the appointment.

Other members of the committee who attended the hearing were Linda Ikpazu, (PDP, Anambra) and Oluwole Oke, (PDP, Osun).

They said the PTAD’s decision was a violation of the Constitution and urged the agency to reconsider the order asking them to refund the salaries that they had collected for three and a half years.

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