By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
The Federal Government has disclosed that it has identified 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria.
In addition, 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, 123 companies and 33 Bureau de change, were also linked to terrorism financing through investigations by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a press conference on the administration’s fight against corruption in Abuja on Thursday.
According to the minister, 45 suspects have been arrested and will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets.
He said NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping, and others with 19 countries from 2020 to 2021.
He said: “To check terrorism financing in Nigeria, the Federal Government has deployed a plethora of tools, including the Money Laundering Act, 2004, the EFCC Act, 2004, the ICPC Act, 2000, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to deal with the issue of corruption, money laundering and terror financing.
“The ongoing harmonization of Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) with National Identification Numbers (NIN) is also a means of tracking the flow of funds within Nigeria and, by extension, tackling terror financing.
“For its part, the analysis by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), in 2020-2021, revealed 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria, 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, involvement of about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change, in addition to identifying 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and 7 co-conspirators.
“The analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets.”
Persecondnews recalls that the federal government had in May, 2021, indicated that it would “soon” begin the prosecution of some highly placed Nigerians suspected to be financing terrorism in the Northeast after a report by the United Arab Emirates authorities identified six Nigerians as financiers of terrorism.