The House of Representatives has expressed displeasure with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the delay in disposing of the N46 billion assets seized from the former Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The Chairman of the 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, Hon. Adejoro Adeogun, expressed his displeasure on Friday when the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, appeared before the committee.
The chairman of the committee opined that it was not ideal to continue keeping such recoveries as they were losing value over time.
He said: “Given the financial situation of Nigeria, shouldn’t we just auction these things fast and put the money to use. Why does it take so long to turn these assets into cash to fund the budget?”
Speaking to journalists on the continued delay in assets disposal after the hearing, the chairman said the federal government has set up a committee under the chairmanship of the Solicitor General for the Federation and I think they are working tirelessly.
“We have EFCC representatives from that committee and we believe at the end of the day Nigerians are going to appreciate what that committee will come out with in terms of the mandate given to them.
“This is to ensure that assets that are not only recovered by the EFCC but the entirety of the recovery agencies assets are disposed of,” Adeogun said.
Earlier, the EFCC chairman said though they got the forfeiture order for assets recovered from the former Petroleum Minister in 2019, they were yet to be auctioned.
He stated: “The estimated value of Diezani Allison’s jewelry in naira is N14.4 billion. The estimated value of houses for the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison, is worth $80 million.”
Bawa attributed the delay in disposing of the assets to long court processes and administrative exigencies.
He pointed out that with the setting up of the committee by the government, all assets recovered by the EFCC, as well as those recovered by other authorized agencies would be disposed of quickly.
The EFCC Chairman assured the committee that once all recovered assets are disposed of, the commission would be dealing with issues on a case-by-case basis and not let them accumulate again.