Nigeria rallied countries to propose the first-ever draft resolution on âImproving access and use of beneficial ownership information to facilitate the identification, recovery and return of stolen assetsâ.
Among the countries joined are Pakistan, Palestine, Kenya, Peru and Saudi Arabia.
This is the decision taken by Nigeria at the global anti-corruption conference that began in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, with 152 countries (including Nigeria) coming together to take action forward through the Convention. United Nations Against Corruption (UNCAC) and strengthen integrity responses to the covid pandemic19.
A statement released yesterday by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed that in an effort to meet the challenge of repatriating stolen wealth to their countries of origin, Nigeria has rallied a coalition of countries , of which Pakistan, Palestine, Kenya, Peru and Saudi Arabia will propose the very first draft resolution on: “Improving access and use of beneficial ownership information to facilitate identification, retrieval and the return of stolen assets â.
According to the statement, the draft resolution calls on member states to establish and complete a register of beneficial owners of assets and to make the respective information accessible to other states with a view to facilitating investigations related to corruption and recovery. of assets.
UNODC consultant and anti-corruption expert Mr. Emmanuel Akomaye, who attended one of more than 60 side events, said: âThere is great wisdom in breaking the opaque shell of corruption. Cross-border corruption is greatly facilitated by beneficial ownership agreements. To break the shell, countries must cooperate effectively. The regulations of professional facilitators of lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, among others, are largely opaque and very little enhanced due diligence is applied to them. Wealth hidden in whatever form must be exposed, its perpetrators and conspirators prosecuted, and assets recovered for the benefit of citizens. “
According to the statement, seven other draft resolutions and two draft decisions are also being considered during the ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties.
at the UNCAC. They include resolutions dealing with issues of prevention, the role of supreme audit institutions, asset recovery, education and law enforcement.
Nigeria has been a party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption since 2004. This year the Nigerian delegation is headed by the Attorney General of the Federation and includes representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission. (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Code of Conduct Office, Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Corporate Affairs Commission, the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, as well as the Senate Committee on Combating Corruption and Financial Crimes.
In his opening statement to the Conference, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said: âThe proceeds of corruption and illicit financial flows constitute a huge part of the resources necessary for sustainable development, and their return to their place. country of origin is a fundamental principle of Article 51 of the Convention “.
The Panama Papers and Pandora Papers of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) testify to the use of safe havens, a phantom financial system and front companies by the corrupt to divert the resources necessary for development, in particular the developing countries of the African continent. In addition, the secrecy associated with corruption and wealth theft remains a persistent challenge to hold perpetrators to account.