Nigeria and UAE clear way for assets recovery deal

Monday May 14 2018

Diezani Alison-Madueke who served as Nigeria's

Diezani Alison-Madueke who served as Nigeria's Oil minister from 2010-2015. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MOHAMMED MOMOH
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The six agreements between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on recovery of assets stashed in the latter will take effect next month, officials announced.

UAE and Nigerian officials exchanged the instruments of the agreements' ratification on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

Following the ceremony at the UAE Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ministry headquarters, the agreements will now take effect from June 13.

The ratification took place between Mr Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Jarman, the UAE's assistant minister for Human Rights and International Law and International Cooperation, and

Nigerian ambassador to UAE, Mr Mohammed Dansanta Rimi.

Anti-corruption agenda

Both countries signed the agreements on January 19, 2016 in Abuja to step up Nigeria’s anti-corruption agenda.

The agenda is key to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which has identified corruption as a major problem facing the country.

The deals include the Judicial Agreements on Extradition, the Transfer of Sentenced Persons; the Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters; and the Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters (the recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth).

Others are the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement; the Agreement on Trade Promotion and the Protection and Judicial Agreements on Extradition.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has been collaborating with the UAE authorities on suspicious cash and assets, allegedly owned by some Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

Annual general meeting

Nigeria has been trying to retrieve some assets allegedly owned by its nationals traced to them in UAE.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has unveiled evidence of how some public office holders benefited from the London-Paris Club refund and how the cash was laundered in Dubai, UAE.

The financial intelligence sharing by the two countries has uncovered some cases involving ex-Petroleum Resources minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, who was currently on the run, and some of her business associates.

Meanwhile, Nigeria was Monday hosting the 8th annual general meeting and conference for heads of anti-corruption agencies in the Commonwealth Africa in Abuja.

The conference's theme: Partnering towards assets recovery and return.