By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
The Federal Government on Friday said it had concluded the processes to commence the prosecution of some Nigerians, including highly placed individuals, for terrorism financing.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who disclosed this to journalists in the State House, said government had carried out extensive investigation on allegations of terrorism financing against some Nigerians, adding that substantial grounds had already been established against those accused.
According to him, Nigeria commenced investigating and processing those suspected to be financiers of terror in the country after the conviction of some persons in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), adding that Nigeria had done a more elaborate investigation and had established the connection of many Nigerians to terror financing in 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). That gave rise to wider and far-reaching investigations in Nigeria, and I’m happy to report that arriving 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 high-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.
“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.”
The minister was however reluctant to give the number of such suspects as he maintained that investigation was still ongoing.
He further 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.”
Malami warned of the resolve of government to invoke the full wrath of the law on anyone that may be sponsoring terrorism 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,” he declared.
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