The Federal Government announced on Thursday that it has confiscated over N45 billion unlawfully taken from the national treasury. Additionally, several individuals and entities associated with terrorist activities have been identified and marked, leading to the confiscation of funds linked to them.
During the 40th Technical Commission/Plenary Meeting of the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) at the State House in Abuja, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, revealed these developments. GIABA, a specialized institution under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is tasked with fostering the adoption and execution of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) strategies in the region.
The AGF emphasized Nigeria’s commitment, under President Bola Tinubu’s leadership, to build upon prior administrations’ achievements, especially in investigating and prosecuting corruption cases.
He said: “In 2022, we increased the budgets for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency by almost 95%.
“We now have over 1,500 officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting money laundering across these three agencies alone.
“These sustained investment has seen increased numbers of investigations, prosecutions and convictions consistently since 2021 with 5,118 investigations, 1,509 prosecutions and almost 500 convictions secured resulting in over 45 billion naira of illicit proceeds seized.
“We have also made progress in tackling the financing of terrorism and in particular, I am pleased that we have identified and designated a number of individuals and entities linked to terrorist activity and seized funds linked to them.
“The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), has become a global model and achieved the outcomes envisaged by the passage of its enabling legislation in 2018 which established it as an independent, autonomous unit.
“The Unit has significantly expanded the scope of financial intelligence it has access to and provides to other competent authorities.
“The Unit has also put in place a number of innovative technologies including the Crime Records Information Management System (CRIMS) which has transformed our approach to intelligence sharing.
“The measures I have outlined and our future ambitions are underpinned by a rigorous analysis of the money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing risks we face as a country,” the AGF stated.
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