NFIU clarifies request for account details of politically exposed persons
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) yesterday confirmed that it actually has a tab on all politically exposed persons (PEPs’) banking transactions within and outside the country.
It, however, refuted claims that principal officers of the National Assembly and the Judiciary were under investigation as insinuated in the section of the media.
He reassured that the NFIU was not investigating the Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), as well as senators, members of the House of Representatives, justices and other members of the judiciary.
Chief Media Analyst to the financial intelligence agency, Ahmed Dikko gave the clarification in a statement in Abuja yesterday.
“We have noticed that while some individuals who seem to be favourable to the government are creating the wrong impression that the opposition is using the NFIU, the opposition seems to be speaking through some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and insinuating that government was using the NFIU for political advantage.
“Both positions are not only untrue but patently unimaginable,” the statement reads.
He explained that it has become necessary that the officer who initiated the request was obviously ignorant of the fact that the NFIU already had access to such information through its database.
It is also pertinent to note that the NFIU has the major responsibility, in accordance with global standards, to maintain and regularly update the list of politically exposed persons.
“A new government was inaugurated on May 2019. The officer who initiated the letter was also taking the initiative to update the PEPs’ list, which includes politicians and political appointees in all organs of government.
The update exercise, which is a regular practice to protect public funds and other assets, is also in accordance with global best practice. We appeal to members of the public that it is needless to make political capital out of this, as the entire country is just one co-signatory with other 164 members of the FIU process,” it added.