EFCC boss, Olukoyede demands unconditional return of Nigerian stolen assets abroad



Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede has called for the urgent and unconditional return of Nigerian stolen assets stashed in foreign countries.


In a statement issued by the EFCC Spokesperson, Dele Oyewale on Thursday, the Chairman made the call in the United States of America at the ongoing 10th session of the Conference of State Parties, COSP, to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, (UNCAC).


Olukoyede told the conference that the foreign countries that still hold onto the stolen assets from Africa were just creating legal hurdles in recovering those assets and indirectly encouraging the perpetrators of the crimes.


He said the return of the stolen assets warehoused in foreign countries would help in the growth of the economy and the expansion of frontiers of development within and outside Nigeria.


He warned that economic and financial crimes have become transnational, insisting that no nation serving as a custodian of stolen assets should hold on to them any further.


He said, “we need the cooperation of all the countries that are custodians or in charge of warehousing all these stolen assets from Africa. It has become extremely important for us to see you as our collaborators. If you are holding on to those assets, you are creating very difficult legal hurdles in recovering those assets.”


Presenting a paper on “Asset recovery efforts and successes of Nigeria so far,” the EFCC boss reeled out the achievements of the Commission in asset recovery, saying they were able to achieve so much in terms of tracing, investigating and prosecuting ill-gotten assets within and beyond Nigeria.


He reiterated the need for the global community to support Nigeria’s efforts towards asset recovery, pointing out that, “we will only be able to see you as a friend if you are willing to support us in recovering such assets that have been traced to your jurisdiction”.


He applauded the courage and commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in driving the asset recovery initiatives of the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies and assured the world that stronger financial discipline is now in place in Nigeria.


He also disclosed that the commission has adopted a preventive framework as a measure of fighting corruption, saying that it costs less to prevent financial crimes than enforcing it even as he reassured of the commission’s commitment to engendering accountability and transparency in recovered assets.


Earlier in an address, the Nigerian Country Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Oliver Stolpe, applauded Nigeria on its asset recovery efforts, describing her as the “ world’s champion in asset recovery.”

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