The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes at the conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt, has adopted Nigeria’s resolution titled “enhancing the use of Beneficial ownership information to facilitate the identification, recovery and return of proceeds of crime”
The resolution co sponsored by other countries like Palestine, Pakistan, Kenya, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Burkina Faso and Dominican Republic will facilitate the identification, detection, trace, freeze, seize, recover and return proceeds of crime amongst States Parties.
The resolution is also expected to strengthen international cooperation in asset recovery which will ensure that those involved in corruption and other criminal offences cannot conceal their identity, criminal conduct and other processes of crime through the misuse of Bank secrecy laws and complex company ownership structures.
Addressing the convention, Ambassador Suleiman Dauda Umar, said irked by the
revelations of the Panama and Pandora Papers which revealed that over six billion dollars was lost to the activities of shell companies and Politically Exposed Persons who exploit opaque and complex structures of legal persons and legal entities to corruptly enrich themselves and their cronies at the expense of the society he addressed the first informal consultations in Vienna on ninth November, and called for all hands to be on deck to improve beneficial ownership transparency by all States.
According to him, the resolution will inspire more global action on beneficial ownership transparency by providing efficient access to adequate and accurate beneficial ownership information in a timely manner to domestic and foreign law enforcements authorities to facilitate the identification, recovery and return of proceeds of crime.
WeAmbassador Suleiman called attention the implementation of the necommendations inofhe resolution inwhichhamong other things, include aring of good practices on promoting beneficial ownership information transparency t,inancial disclosure requirements for public officials; the provision by UNODC of technical assistance, capacity-building and material support, upon request, to Member States, with regard to establishing and implementing a domestic beneficial ownership information regime.
Earlier, the Senior Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Nigeria in Vienna and Nigerian Desk Officer, UNODC, Barrister Emmanuel Nweke, who chaired the resolution drafting Committee, had expressed pleasure that their almost six months efforts paid off especially as Nigeria contributed to bringing the matter of Beneficial Ownership to the front burner of international discourse.
The Anambra born diplomat, said the resolution will encourage countries to protect their frontiers and can serve the development goals of States.