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Allegation of diversion of recovered proceeds of crime: defect in the EFCC Act 2004 and the need for amendment

Sirajo Yakubu (Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 25 March 2021

Issue publication date: 5 August 2021




The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the Economic and Financial Crime Act 2004 to investigate whether there are defects in the 2004 Acts which enable abuse of the system by those who are responsible for fighting corruption and other economic crimes in Nigeria.


The paper adopts qualitative methods of research. The research studied the laws and regulations relevant to the recovery and management of proceeds of crime. However, personal experience of the author in the civil service, security and law enforcement accounts significantly.


The paper finds that the provisions of the EFCC Act 2004 relevant to the recovery of proceeds of crime and management of recovered assets are defective. The 2004 Act contains loopholes that enable mismanagement and diversion of recovered assets for personal use. Although the EFCC Act empowers the Minister of Justice to issue Regulations to regulate the activities of the EFCC, the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019 the Minister of Justice issued cannot be used to close the loopholes. Thus, there is an urgent need to amend the EFCC Act 2004.

Research limitations/implications

Non-availability of data on the mismanagement of seized and recovered assets is a severe limitation. Thus, analysis in this research focuses on the laws and regulations to illustrates the defects in the 2004 Act. Also, the study could only use reported cases and incidence of corruption among the security and law enforcement to illustrate unsuitability of security and law enforcement for the position of the chairman of the EFCC.


There is no comprehensive work that examines the defects of the provisions of the 2004 Act that breeds lack of transparency in the recovery of proceeds of crime as well as mismanagement of recovered assets. Therefore, this paper is of value to the Nigerian Government and the National Assembly in considering amendments to the EFCC Act 2004. The paper is also of importance to researchers.



Yakubu, S. (2021), "Allegation of diversion of recovered proceeds of crime: defect in the EFCC Act 2004 and the need for amendment", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 659-671.



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