Following the aforementioned bills, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resources Centre) made its comments/ contributions with respect to the observations made last week at the Public Hearing of the Senate Joint session.

On Difference in framework, HEDA opined that the creation of a new agency is contrary to government reports on the reduction of agencies.

For Assets Management Skills, HEDA suggested the employment of new staff or second some from the law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies.

More so on existing mandates of relevant agencies to manage and dispose of forfeited assets, HEDA suggested the creation of a new agency with conflicting power of management, freezing, recovery, disposal, seizure, tracing, and confiscation powers, similar to existing ACAs and LEAs inimical to collaboration and efficient management of proceeds of crimes.

Meanwhile, on financial implications for the execution of mandate on nationwide and international assets, the civil society organization maintained that it was potentially impracticable and impossible, considering the inability of the Ministry of Justice to currently fund recovery of assets but rather employing services of external lawyers on no win, no fee basis.

For the agency’s relevance in changing the nature and scope of financial crimes and money laundering, the civil group affirmed that the agency would need to conduct its own investigations and prosecution of money laundering, terrorism financing, etc, and matters concerned.

In a response to perishable forfeited assets nationwide, the group asserted that could be difficult, cumbersome, and expensive with a center-dependent bureaucracy with other ACAs and LEAs.

On proper handling of Exhibits at Interim Forfeiture stage, as well as how it might disrupt the fight against graft, HEDA submitted that Handling exhibits could jeopardize a successful prosecution and it would be very disruptive given the controversy surrounding the disposal of the ongoing assets by the AG’s office.

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On who are the Proponents and supporters, HEDA again said the Honourable Attorney of the federation (HAGF), finding its compliance with Orasanye’s report and government white paper on not creating new agencies, HEDA opined it contravenes the whole Ideas.

For Accountability/Governance mechanisms, it maintained that there should be a Central DataBase in HAG’s Office and Quarterly Report to NASS Public Accounts Committees.

More so on Accessibility to Forfeitures Records, the anti-corruption CSO suggested that Records domiciled in the Courts/NJC and National Data Base be made open for scrutiny.

On the FATF Recommendation of POCA as captured in the lead debate of POCA Bill, HEDA said- No agency was recommended while on The Effect of Expunged provisions of other LEAs and ACAs, it pushed for the expungement of relevant provisions in other ACAs and LEAs mandates needing amendment of all the Acts.


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