Bill proposes penalties for siblings of corrupt officials, other beneficiaries

The Senate is considering a bill to prescribe penalties for family members found to have benefited from the proceeds of bribery, especially by a government official or official.

The Proceeds of Crimes (Recovery and Management) Bill 2021, sponsored by Legislator representing the Central Senatorial District of Taraba, Yusuf Yusuf, seeks to establish a commission to manage the forfeiture of assets acquired in connection with criminal and illegal activities.

Yusuf, who spoke to reporters about the bill in Abuja, proposed punishing the spouses, children, siblings and parents of corrupt Nigerians who benefited from the proceeds of corruption.

The godfather said: “I am really very concerned about the future of the country in the sense that many of us are joking and playing with the extent to which corruption has entered the fabrics of our regime. President Muhammadu Buhari has warned us that if we do not fight corruption, corruption will not only fight us, but will kill us as a nation.

“Corruption, unfortunately, is present in all sectors of the economy. Some people say that drug trafficking is not corruption, but it is. There is an allegation that one of our most senior police officers in the country, DCP Abba Kyari, who was arrested, was colluding with drug traffickers. Every corrupt person, their spouse, children, siblings and parents are all beneficiaries of corruption.

“So while the law criminalizes an individual for corruption and he is in prison for 10 years, his wife, children, siblings and parents would all enjoy the fruits of his corruption. It is possible that someone is corrupt and others may not know it, but overall, every corruption has its own beneficiaries. The law should also be extended to all beneficiaries of corruption, especially the criminal aspect.

Yusuf added: “There are countries where corrupt people are imprisoned for up to 100 years. There are nations that have the death penalty as a punishment for corrupt people.

“It is very disturbing when you consider how corruption has destroyed the country in all its aspects, including in the National Assembly, in the civil service and in academia.

“I think it is better to create an agency to confiscate the proceeds of corruption than to make it the duty of anti-corruption agencies.”

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