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Legislation

We commit to the strengthening of our asset recovery legislation, including through non-conviction based confiscation powers and the introduction of unexplained wealth orders

Country: Nigeria

Status: underway

Themes: Asset recovery

Last updated: December 2020

Classification:

Concrete: Concrete | New: New | Ambitious: Somewhat Ambitious

  • 4 Evidence:

    How Effective is Fighting Dirty Money in Nigeria?

    Proceeds of Crime Bill factsheet

    Proceeds of Crime Bill passed

    Buhari rejects bid to stop EFCC from seizing assets

  • 6 Notes:

    The Asset tracing, recovery and management regulations (2019) issued by the Ministry of Justice on the 24th of October, 2019 provides for all non-conviction based forfeitures to be conducted by the Attorney-General of the Federation. Non-conviction based approaches (NBA) are increasingly used by the Nigerian anti-corruption agencies and the judiciary. It has significantly boosted the rate of recovered assets without going into lengthy criminal proceedings. There seems to be improved understanding about the utilization of the NBAs and their potential. Unexplained Wealth Order is yet to be contemplated or introduced to the Nigerian Asset Recovery framework.

    There is no single distinct process or framework for forfeiture contained within one statute in Nigeria, although it is authorised in several legislations. Thus, the process may differ from case to case, according to the nature of the offence and the legislation breached. Forfeiture can be conviction-based or non-conviction based and both types are provided for by the available legal framework on forfeiture. However, while NCBCs are now part of the Nigerian legal framework, in some instances they have been claimed to undermine the constitutional principle of presumption of innocence until proved guilty. This may be a limit to using this form of asset forfeiture, while available to the authorities. The Guidance Notes on Non-Conviction and Conviction-based Forfeiture and Management of the Res in Conviction-Based Forfeiture in Nigeria by the “Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption” set out case law and analytical resources for judges in the application of relevant criminal provisions relating to forfeiture.

    Updated: October 31, 2020

    Non conviction based approaches (NCBA) are increasingly used by the Nigerian anti-corruption agencies and the judiciary. It has significantly boosted the rate of recovered assets without going into lengthy criminal proceedings. There seems to be improved understanding about the utilization of the NCBAs and their potential. Unexplained Wealth Order is yet to be contemplated or introduced to the Nigerian Asset Recovery framework. There is no single distinct process or framework for forfeiture contained within one statute in Nigeria, although it is authorized in several legislation. Thus, the process may differ from case to case, according to the nature of the offence and the legislation breached. Forfeiture can be conviction-based or non-conviction based and both types are provided for by the available legal framework on forfeiture. However, while NCBCs are now part of the Nigerian legal framework, in some instances they have been claimed to undermine the constitutional principle of presumption of innocence until proved guilty. This may be a limit to using this form of asset forfeiture, while available to the authorities. The Guidance Notes on Non-Conviction and Conviction-based Forfeiture and Management of the Res in Conviction-Based Forfeiture in Nigeria by the “Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption” set out case law and analytical resources for judges in the application of relevant criminal provisions relating to forfeiture.

    Peer reviewer: 1

    Updated: April 30, 2020

    The proceeds of Crime Bill which is the legislation that is responsible for the management of recovered/returned assets was declined assent by the President of the Republic of Nigeria.

    Updated: October 30, 2019

    The proceeds of crime bill 2014 passed the second reading in the senate on Wednesday May 17 2017 and has been referred to the committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters. The bill in its current form stipulates crucial legal and institutional arrangements for managing asset recovery in Nigeria, and employing the non-conviction based asset forfeiture approach. The judiciary complains about operational difficulties and lack of training in the application of the legal framework

    Updated: October 30, 2018

    Crucial Proceeds of Crime Bill 2014 has not been passed into Law despite repeated assurances of political commitment. Unexplained Wealth Order is not being discussed at all. Non-conviction based approaches are present in the legal framework and are occasionally used despite the complains from judges that the legislative provision is not clear.

    Updated: June 30, 2018

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