African anti-graft agencies seek repatriation of stolen assets

Heads of anti-corruption agencies in Africa have asked Europe, the United States and others to work towards speedy repatriation of recovered assets to African countries.

They also expressed concern over losses Africa had suffered as a result of illegal transfers of proceeds of corruption and crime out of the continent.

The requests and observations were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the 9th Commonwealth Regional Conference of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa in Kampala, Uganda.

The event took place between May 6 and 10, 2019 and was attended by most of the heads of anti-graft agencies in Africa. It was themed, ‘Time to act: Prevent corruption for sustainable development.’

President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, declared the conference open while the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, spoke on the remarkable achievements of anti-graft agencies in Africa.

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the immediate past Chairman of Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa, Ibrahim Magu, highlighted the major achievements of the commission under his watch.

The communiqué urged anti-corruption agencies to emulate the EFCC and acquire polygraph technology as part of their investigative and integrity testing process.

The EFCC is the only agency in Commonwealth Africa using the technology for corruption cases in courts.

An investigator with the commission had demonstrated the use of the polygraph just as other agencies made enquiries from the EFCC on how to acquire the technology for positive development in anti-graft war.

The conference added that there was a need to strengthen cooperation and collaboration among the anti-corruption agencies in Commonwealth Africa for purposes of facilitating asset recovery and return.

It urged anti-corruption agencies to pursue both preventive and enforcement measures in the fight against corruption within the unique context of each country.

The communiqué read in part, “We call upon the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Agencies to adopt a strategy of engagement with their political elite based on their country context.”

“We further call upon heads of government and Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Agencies to engage and empower the citizens to demand transparency, accountability and effective service delivery; request heads of government in Europe, America and other jurisdictions to work towards speedy and unfettered repatriation of recovered assets to African countries.” – Punch.

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