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Unexplained Wealth Order: Nigerians with Assets in UK to be Revealed in 2018



Professor Bolaji Owosanoye

The British Government will give the Federal Government information about Nigerians who own property in that  country next year, a presidential aide has said.

Professor Bolaji Owosanoye, Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), told a NAN correspondent in New York on the sidelines of a workshop on “Illicit Financial Flows and Assets Recovery” that negotiations on this have reached advanced stage.

Owosanoye said the measure being taken by the governments of both countries was a step forward in the fight against corruption.

“There’s no doubt that rogues in government oppress and impoverish their people by corruption and this must be sanctioned by collective action.

We need to make sure that there is no safe haven for you (corrupt officials) to run to.

Britain has promised that by 2018, she will provide Nigeria with the information about who owns what and where; that’s very helpful.

These include all the houses that have been bought by public officials or accounts that are held by public officials on which they are right now not paying taxes or which they cannot explain the sources.

So if you cannot buy a house in England, you have to look for somewhere else.

But if all countries criminalise this, then it becomes much more difficult unless you want to buy the house on Mars,” he said.

The presidential aide also explained that Nigeria and other African countries, who are victims of illicit financial flows, must challenge developed countries to block illicit financial flows from developing countries.

“Receiving states – the countries of the North – need to be proactive to block the proceeds of crime even before a request is made by victim countries.

This is because, in many situations, it is clear that illegality is taking place.

We think that reversing the burden of proof to improve the confiscation of criminal proceeds of crime would help, especially when we are going after the asset and not necessarily the person.

If the person who claims to own the asset would not cooperate in giving information, then this should be a point in favour of the state,” Owosanoye said.

He contended that the burden of proof for criminal proceeds should shift to the suspect  and not the government, citing the case of a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“A former Managing Director of the NNPC was found with $9million cash and over N70 million in his house in a small place he has built.

He said the money is a gift. He was asked if he could tell the very generous angels who gave him this money.

He’s not been able to provide that information. That sort of disposition should be used to penalise a claimant of asset who cannot justify the origin of the asset.

The proposed ‘Unexplained Wealth Order’ in England, which hopefully we were told would pass through the legal process this year, should really help to deepen the conversation in this regard.

It (Unexplained Wealth Order) would help to quickly recover assets,” the presidential aide said.

Owosanoye said available research records showed that about 60 per cent of capital flight from Africa came from Nigeria because of the size of its economy.


  1. The Bull

    April 4, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Daft African leaders, impoverish your people and take the money outside. smh they should do research on our brains. Maybe there is something in the water here.

  2. Authentic Sunshine

    April 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Yesss !!!!!. This government is trying “her” best. But, more emphasis on the welfare of the people. In the meantime, anybody with unexplainable wealth (house), the property should be sold and the money pumped back into programmes that support our economy.

    • Anon

      April 4, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Boring. Everyone knows you buy and save in your children’s names. Especially in the names of your daughters who are already married. The “government you speak of are politicians with assets abroad, in the end you’ll only see the names of their PDP enemies. Forget Nigeria

  3. not nigerian

    April 4, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    90% 419ers

    All born with 419 in their blood

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