The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has said that the ministry has recorded an appreciable milestone in the recovery of looted assets in the country.
He said this during the budget defence before the House of Representatives Committee on Justice on Monday in Abuja.
He stated that the Ministry was mandated to embark on the recovery of looted assets, adding that it had recorded appreciable milestones.
He added that in this regard, monies recovered were promptly deposited into the government treasury, thereby increasing the revenue profile of the government.
He said that the ministry is presently making efforts to ensure that it was allocated some cost of collection from recovered funds to finance its recovery operations.
“To date, there are large sums of illicit money stashed abroad for which we are working at close quarters with ICPC, and EFCC as dependable allies to effect recovery,” he said.
The Attorney-General said that the ministry handled public prosecution and civil litigation for the federation and sometimes outsourced these services.
He said that the Justice Sector reforms the ministry is currently undertaking are costly to execute while calling for support with adequate funding to successfully prosecute them.
He said that the rule of law as practised all over the world is the pivot upon which democracy revolved, stressing that the Justice sector as presently constituted was bedevilled by funding inadequacies, too much for its comfort.
According to him, lamentably, however, practically all the Parastatals under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Justice are in dire need of funding.
” For me, this is as dangerous as it is disturbing because funding gaps in the face of competing challenges could endanger effective administration of Justice, and cause an unwarranted travesty of Justice,” he said.
Also, Rep. Ugonna Ozurigbo, Chairman of the House Committee on Justice stated that the business of government could not be run in a vacuum and budget approval is very critical to good governance.
He said that the exercise should be given the necessary importance it deserves while calling on the minister for total disclosure of all material facts.