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BREAKING: Nigeria Identifies 96 Financiers Of Terrorism, 424 Associates Of The Financiers

The Nigerian Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) identified 96 financiers of terrorism in the country and 424 associates/supporters of the financiers in 2020 and 2021.

The Minister who announced this at a press conference in Abuja, said the NFIU also identified about 123 companies and 33 Bureau de Change which were involved in the financing of terrorism in the country, which is by far the most populous country in Africa..

Mr. Lai Mohammed said the unit also identified some 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and 7 co-conspirators and that 45 suspects who would soon face prosecution and seizure of assets had been arrested as a result of the analysis by NFIU.

“Also, from its analysis of tax evasion and tax avoidance linked to corruption, NFIU has identified N3.909 trillion in VAT and N3,737 trillion in Withholding Tax due to the government.

“NFIU has also sent 1,165 intelligence reports on cases of corruption, money laundering and other serious offences to 27 domestic agencies for investigation, prosecution and asset recovery,” Minister Mohammed added.

In terrorism, he said: “The NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping and others with 19 countries.

“Under review, the organisation returned fraudulently-obtained funds totaling, 103.722 billion dollars, 3,000 Pound Sterling; 7,695 Singapore dollars and 1,091 Euros to 11 countries of victims who came into the country.”

Furthermore, the minister reported that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) issued 125,000 Assets Declaration Forms in 2021, out of which only 97,201 forms were returned.

Minister Mohammed said the figures however represented a 48 per cent increase in the number of Assets Declaration forms issued and an 81 per cent increase in submission compliance when compared with the previous year.

He also reported that the CCB was ready to deploy an Online Assets Declaration Portal that would allow for enhanced storage and retrieval of data as part of its reforms.

He said the portal would reduce delays caused by incomplete and incorrect declarations and errors among others.

Minister Mohammed said the Bureau in 2021, investigated several cases involving illicit enrichment, conflicts of interest, abuse of office and ethical breaches, resulting in the filing of more than 200 cases before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The CCB whose constitutional responsibility it is to handle, among others, issues of asset declaration by public officials as well as the verification of their assets, had its chairman embroiled in some corruption and abuse of office allegations levied against him. The Bureau must strive to live above board.