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HomeNewsNigeria Govt Will Not Name, Shame Terrorism Financiers

Nigeria Govt Will Not Name, Shame Terrorism Financiers

ABUJA, Nigeria – The Federal Government has said it will not name and shame identified financiers of terrorism in the country.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), who disclosed this in an interview on the sidelines of the 27th Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) Ministerial Committee Meeting in Abuja, had earlier stated that the federal government has identified terrorism financiers in the country.

This was even as the government has flagged off the release of 4,068 prisoners in various correctional centres across the country.

Fagbemi said the government would not go into name and shame because it may jeopardise further investigation or apprehension of other people involved.

Earlier in his speech, Fagbemi, while commending the good work GIABA is doing in the effort to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa, noted that it is incumbent on member states to provide all the support that is necessary for the group to conduct its work in a more effective and efficient manner.

“As a capable and technically confident organisation, GIABA can and should put before the rest of the global Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism financing (AML/CFT) network, the aspirations and peculiarities of our region.

“I also believe we need to take some time for introspection and an assessment of where we have fallen short. In particular, looking at the effectiveness of our AML/CFT/CPF frameworks, it is clear that across the region there is significant room for improvement,” Fagbemi said.

He called on all the member states to recommit themselves to becoming champions for truly effective national AML/CFT/CPF systems; “to become leaders who push our national institutions to perform to the highest of their capabilities; to recognise that the FATF Standards are not punitive measures but tools to help us assure the safety, security and prosperity of our countries, our region, our continent and indeed the global community.”

The Minister of Interior, Mr. Tunji Ojo, who disclosed the release of the inmates in an interview, said the inmates are the non-violent offenders and those that are remanded in prison because they are unable to pay some fines.

He said he had earlier promised to raise N585 million through CSR from corporate bodies to help clear the fines.

“We have been able to raise the money and we have been able to offset those fines. That is to show you that when we give our word, we want to keep it,” he said.

The minister noted that the correctional centre is transformatory.

“It is a place that is meant to ensure that the fundamental rights of the inmates are protected and that they are rehabilitated to be reintegrated into the society. The target of the judicial system is not just to punish people but also to remodel and rehabilitate them so as to reintegrate them,” Ojo said.

The Director General of GIABA, Mr. Edwin Harris, commended the member states for their commitment to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa.

He, however, said there was a need to improve the effectiveness of their strategies.

“The low level of effectiveness is a major challenge in our fight against transnational crimes. This is a call to action by all and the need to defer same could be cataclysmic in implementing sound measures that deter and prevent unlawful activities,” Harris said.

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