The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, has stated that international treaties entered between Nigeria and foreign countries usually determined how recovered assets are appreciated.
Malami specifically stressed that international recoveries were governed by “Conflict of laws” principles and not local legislation in view of multiple sovereignties involved.
“International Recoveries are more or less governed by international conventions, negotiations and agreement of parties. It is never a straightjacket application of local legislation”, Malami said in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement signed by his media aide, Dr Umar Gwandu, further argued that the Revenue Mobilization and Fisical Commission Act has nothing specific on funds recovered from indicted public officers, adding that the act merely mentions accruals and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account
He described as misleading impression that such recoveries and usage of stolen funds stashed abroad are provided for by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act.
“One cannot situate rights and entitlements on looted funds and recovered assets with myopic and narrow understating of concepts of the application of local legislations.For the avoidance of doubt and the purpose of setting the record straight, the application of the looted funds can only factored within the context of mutual understanding and negotiations of international and multifaceted jurisdictional and territorial legislative issues.
The recovery of stolen assets and the subsequent uses to which these funds may be employed are subject to international agreements between Nigeria and the affected countries, thereby bringing conflict of laws into contemplation.
“Importantly also, these repatriated funds are based on cooperation and mutual assistance agreements, especially the United Nation Convention against Corruption and Implementation of the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) Principles on the Repatriation of Stolen Assets”, he added.