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FG accuses elite Nigerians as terrorists financiers

By News Desk

The Federal Government has disclosed that prominent Nigerians, including politically exposed persons are behind terrorism financing in the country, saying they had been the backbone funding terrorist activities in the country.

It explained their involvement came into light after thorough investigation by relevant agencies mandated to probe source of terrorism financing and their chain of transactions locally and through international interest.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who disclosed this on Friday said that upon completion of investigations, the apex government would released names some high profile Nigerians involved in fueling terrorism.

According to him, the prominent Nigerians and politically exposed persons are being profiled for prosecution following the recent convictions of some Nigerians on terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates.

He added that the federal government would leave no stone unturned in aggressively pursuing those involved in terrorist financing as far as the Nigerian state is concerned.

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

“That gave rise to a wider and far-reaching investigations 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 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 higher profile individuals and businessmen across the country. I’m happy to report that investigation has been ongoing for long and it has reached an advanced stage.

“Arising 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.”

Continuing, he said, “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.

“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.”

But the minister was reluctant to disclose the number of such suspects as he maintained that investigation was still ongoing.

Malami said, “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.”

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