The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has called for urgent and unconditional return of Nigerian stolen assets stashed in foreign countries.
According to a statement posted on the commission’s X handle on Wednesday, Olukoyede made this call on Tuesday, at the ongoing 10th session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption holding at the Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, United States of America.
According to him, the return of stolen assets warehoused in foreign countries has become imperative for the growth of the economy and expansion of frontiers of development within and outside Nigeria.
Olukoyede said, “We need the cooperation of all the countries that are custodians or in charge of warehousing all these stolen assets from Africa.
“It has become extremely important for us to see you as our collaborators, as countries that support us in the fight against corruption.
“Now, when you look at corruption, it has become a transnational crime. If you are holding on to those assets, you are creating very difficult legal hurdles in recovering those assets. You are indirectly encouraging the perpetrators of the crimes we are talking about.
“And when you encourage it in Africa, it has a tendency of affecting you too, because the kind of financial crimes we are talking about have become global in nature. So, it has become important for you to cooperate with us.”
He further reiterated the need for the global community to support Nigeria’s efforts towards asset recovery, adding, “we will only be able to see you as a friend if you are willing to support us in recovering such assets that have been traced to your jurisdiction”.