The key to unraveling the puzzle of dirty money being used to acquire property in the UK was a Klepto Bus ride undertaken in the UK in 2017. But apart from that there is the Unexplained Wealth Orders, UWO, a UK Policy of putting the burden of proof on the owners of suspiciously acquired wealth.
The Africa Network for Environment & Economic Justice, ANEEJ has just one of those aces up its sleeve, the Propati Tracka. Launched in Abuja Nigeria, July 12, 2018, the Propati Tracka seeks to use technology to unmask owners of illegally acquired property in three high-brow districts of Abuja – Maitama, Asokoro and Wuse.
Speaking at the event, ANEEJ executive director, the Rev David Ugolor said that resources that could be used for development of critical infrastructure in Nigeria are often used to acquire personal properties at home and abroad.
‘The goal of the project is to unmask owners of such property acquired with proceeds of crime and encourage the Nigerian government to adopt a non-conviction approach to tackling corruption and then channel proceeds from seized property to financing development initiatives in Nigeria’, the Rev Ugolor said at the launch.
The event which was held at Newton Park Hotel and Resorts witnessed a large turnout of several members of the civil society, representatives of the mass media and governmental organisations which included Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, SSA to the President and Head, Special Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property Nkechi Ugwu, M & E Officer; Mr. Lukuman Adefolahan from CISLAC.
In a short contribution, Special Assistant to the President expressed happiness that the civil society was assisting the government in the anti-corruption work. He said that much could be done because Nigeria was getting support from the international community to track money/asset.
In a presentation, Program lead for Propati Tracka, Ovie Assurance said that even though the Tracka has a one-year lifespan, desk review of most seized property has been done. ‘One can track by the names of property-owners or log-in by searching through the names of politically exposed persons. There is a section for testimonials gotten from people. Its Twitter handle is @propatitracka’, and the web portal is www.propatitracka.com
At the end of the launch, it was agreed that a scheduled date will be communicated formally to all participants present, to train them on how to use the platform to create a profile, map and send reports.
Watch this space for details on the training.