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Nigeria places ‘high-profile’ persons under watch for ‘terrorism financing’

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[FILES] President Buhari with Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh and Minister of Budget and National Planning Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma as he presides over Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meeting in State House on October 24, 2018. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

The Nigerian government Friday said it is currently profiling a large number of well-placed Nigerians whose activities have proved reasonable links to financing terrorism.

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Authorities said that the arrest of an undisclosed number of suspects recently came following the convictions of some Nigerians on terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Fielding questions from newsmen at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said ongoing investigations have given reasonable grounds to prosecute the high profile Nigerians and institutions across the country.

“As you will actually know, sometimes back there were certain convictions of Nigerians allegedly involved in terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” Malami said.

“That gave rise to a wider and far-reaching investigation in Nigeria and I’m happy to report that arising from the wider coverage investigation that has been conducted in Nigeria, a number of people, both institutional and otherwise, were found to be culpable, I mean on reasonable grounds for suspicion of terrorism financing have been established, or perhaps has been proven to be in existence in respect of the transactions of certain high-profile individuals and businessmen across the country.

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“I’m happy to report that investigation has been ongoing for long and it has reached an advanced stage. Arriving from the investigation, there exists, certainly, reasonable grounds for suspicion that a lot of Nigerians, high-profile, institutional and otherwise, are involved in terrorism financing and they are being profiled for prosecution.

“In essence, it is indeed true that the government is prosecuting and it’s indeed initiating processes of prosecuting those high-profile individuals that are found to be financing terrorism. It is indeed true.
However, Malami did not give the number of such suspects as he maintained that investigation was still ongoing until a conclusion if arrived at.

“As to the number, investigation is ongoing and it has to be conclusive before one can arrive at a certain number, but one thing I can tell you is it is a large number and they are being profiled for prosecution.

“It is indeed a large number and I’m not in a position to give you the precise number as at now because the profiling and investigation are ongoing.”

Malami warned that government will not hesitate to invoke the full wrath of the law on anyone found culpable in backing terrorism sponsorship in the country.

“The message is clear – nobody is going to be spared, no stone will be left unturned. We shall certainly and aggressively pursue those people that are involved in terrorist financing as far as the Nigerian state is concerned,” Malami said.


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