President Muhammadu Buhari has written a letter to the National Assembly for more powers to freeze and seize stolen public funds and assets.

In the letter, addressed to the House of Representatives, which the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, read at the plenary on Wednesday, the President sought the creation of a Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Agency.

Dated October 6, 2020, the letter noted that the bill seeking to establish the agency was presented to the Federal Executive Council on September 16, 2020, and was subsequently approved for transmission to the National Assembly.

“Please recall that this bill was passed by the National Assembly in 2019 but was not granted assent due to some issues that were identified during the review.

“The Proceeds of Crime Bill is essential and critical in building an enduring and sustainable foundation for the fight against corruption, money laundering and illicit movement of stolen funds through the banking system and across the Nigerian borders.

“The bill will also improve the ability of law enforcement agencies to seize, freeze and confiscate stolen assets in Nigeria while observing all related constitutional and human rights laws.

“This bill will also address the problem of lack of transparency, accountability and lack of credible records associated with the current procedure in the management of recovered funds by anti-corruption agencies and other institutions in Nigeria,” Buhari wrote.

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