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How NFIU identified 424 associates and 96 financers of terrorism in Nigeria — Lai Mohammed

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) says it identified 96 financiers of terrorism and 424 associates/supporters of the financiers in Nigeria in 2020 and 2021.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who stated this at a media briefing in Abuja, said the Unit also identified the involvement of about 123 companies and 33 Bureau de Change in the terror finance.

He said the unit identified 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and seven co-conspirators while the analysis had resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who would soon face prosecution and seizure of assets.

“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.

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“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,’’ he said.

On terrorism financing, the minister said NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping and others with 19 countries.

He said during the same period 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.

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For its part, the minister said the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), in 2021, issued 125,000 Assets Declaration Forms, out of which 97,201 forms were returned.

He said the figures 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.

The minister said that as part of its reforms, the CCB was ready to deploy an Online Assets Declaration Portal that would allow for enhanced storage and retrieval of data.

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

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.

NAN reports that the CCB handles, among others, issues of asset declaration by public officials as well as the verification of their assets.

(NAN)

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