Osinbajo made the call at the opening of a four-day conference of heads of anti-corruption agencies from across Africa in Abuja.

“It is only through collective action that we can stay ahead of the criminal elements who rob our countries and citizens of their present and their future,” he said.

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“African countries must come together to keep the issue of asset recovery and return on the front burner of international discuss.”

The Vice President was at the conference with three former Presidents – General Yakubu Gowon, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa – as well as the Chief Justice Of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland.

Heads of anti-corruption agencies of countries that are members of the Commonwealth, including the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, were also in attendance at the conference, the eight in the series.

Of concern to all of them is the estimated $148 billion that has been taken away from Africa illegally.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General described the scale of the problem as a ravenous storm.

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“The difference between the money we need to deliver the hopes and aspirations contained in our Commonwealth Charter of 2013 and the commitment we all made when we signed up to the UN SDGs of 2015 and the money we have is the sum equivalent of that which is siphoned off by the corrupt practices of the greedy, the uncaring and the pernicious few,” she said.

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