Reps fault planned auctioning of recovered looted assets

The House of Representatives is not happy that the Federal Government is going ahead to auction recovered assets despite being under investigation by the parliament.

The government had listed sale of recovered/forfeited assets as one of the sources of funds to finance the 2020 and 2021, while the same has been proposed in the 2022 Appropriation Bill.

It was gathered that the House, through its 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, also expressed reservations over the process.

A prominent member of the committee, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the committed was worried that many of the agencies had ceded their powers to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation regarding the auctioning of the assets.

The lawmaker said, “Some of these agencies have ceded their powers to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, making him set up the committee in charge of the auctioning of the recovered assets.

“It was after we started investigation into the status of the assets that they started following due process. They would have just sold everything without anybody knowing. Now, they have advertised and followed the due process to make sure that they are not held liable for anything.”

Asked if the committee was satisfied with the process, the source said, “We are not but as you know, they are under a different arm of the government. We can only advise them.

“When you look at the fact that there are so many motions (and resolutions) that we have passed which they have not implemented, if you now ask them not to sell, we might be accused of trying to sabotage the budget.”

When the Chairman of the committee, Adejoro Adeogun, was contacted, he said, “We are going ahead with our investigation. Wait for its conclusion,” he said.

The PUNCH reports that the Federal Government had begun the process for the valuation of property belonging to several politically exposed persons, including the embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke; and a former Chief of Defence Staff, the late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

The government had screed 613 independent valuers expected to manage the sale of the assets alleged to have been illegally acquired, which was permanently forfeited to it in about 25 locations across country.

About 1,620 valuables had been marked for auction, including cars, houses, phones, laptops, vessels and other valuables.

Lagos has the highest number of property that will be auctioned, including about 31 houses and 589 vehicles.

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