Senate Rescinds Decision On Passage Of Proceeds Of Crime Bill

Written by on March 15, 2022

The Senate has rescinded its decision on the passage of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill 2022.

The House took the decision during plenary on Tuesday and subsequently sent the bill to its Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Anti-Corruption for more legislative work.

Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi in his presentation relied on Orders 1(b) and 52 (6) of the Senate Standing Orders 2022 (as amended) to move for the amendment of the bill.

He explained that the re-amendment of the bill became imperative in view of the amendment that was made to Clause 74 which placed the burden of proof on the investigating agencies but not on the defendant as recommended by the Joint Committee in its report.

On the need to amend the Clause 74 of the bill, Abdullahi said, “the implication of the amendment is that civil forfeitures would be a thing of the past in Nigeria as there would not be final forfeitures without a conviction.

“Implying that all property seized are included in the clause, even those that may be incidental to an arrest and may contain evidence needed for investigation of the crime.”

He said these concerns are fundamental issues which requires fresh legislation.

Accordingly, the chamber in a resolution rescinded its decision on Clause 74 of the bill as passed.

The Senate then recommitted the bill to the committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; and Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes to engage the relevant agencies with a view to exploring safeguard against abuse.

The committees are to engage the relevant agencies to find the most appropriate solution to safeguard against abuse and report back within a week.

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