From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that international collaboration was the smartest and most effect approach to ensure restitution of stolen assets.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, last September in New York, said that Nigeria would continue to call for speedy and unconditional recovery of illicit assets stashed abroad.
Buhari said his administration was in support of the development of an international legal framework to enforce anti-corruption measures and strengthen existing international institutions to effectively deal with corrupt practices, adding that corruption freezes development and undermines the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Osinbajo, at the opening of the 2017 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, in Paris, on Thursday, said corruption, stealing of government assets and other illicit financial flow crimes match many of the criteria for crimes against humanity.
He stressed the most serious forms of corruption are crimes against humanity and should be prosecuted in the highest national and international courts.
“Corruption should be considered as a crime against humanity” Osibanjo said, calling for a ‘united action’ against corruption worldwide.
“Tracing, freezing and return of stolen assets often proves to be exceptionally difficult for most African countries.
“We must work collaboratively to ensure transparency in financial transfers, and outlaw secrecy jurisdictions”, Osinbajo said.
The Vice President disclosed that Nigeria and other African countries lose $50 billion annually, according to the The Mbeki Panel.
“There must be more rigorous enforcement of rules promoting transparency in International banking and financial systems”.
The OECD has been a global leader in the fight against corruption for many years. Along with other intergovernmental organisations, it has helped to create a panoply of international instruments that seek to limit corruption.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) asked G8 countries to take action on several fronts: strengthening their anti-money laundering regimes, enforcing greater transparency of company ownership, and supporting efforts to trace, freeze and recover stolen assets, Per Second News gathered on series of panel meetings held Thursday.