Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), has said that about $700 million assets had been recovered in the last six years. This was as Owasanoye tasked African leaders on the compelling need to prioritise the recovery of assets at local, regional and global levels, including return of artworks and artefacts. Spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, in a statement, Wednesday, quoted the commission’s boss as stating the positions during a virtual Commonwealth regional conference for anti-corruption agencies in Africa.
In a paper entitled “Understanding the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR)”, the ICPC boss noted that the prioritisation of recovery of assets at the three levels had become imperative, to facilitate the recovery of African assets.
“In Nigeria, precisely Benin, Edo State, two major artefacts have been returned while the country has recovered between $600 million and $700 million assets in the last six years,” he was quoted as saying. Owasanoye also advocated the strengthening of legal and financial institutions, with a view to facilitating the asset recovery process. In his estimation, establishment of funds, trusts and dedicated African escrow accounts to be held by regional financial institutions, should be included in the process.