FG Tightens Noose on Boko Haram Funding…Moves to Separate NFIU from EFCC
EN-US JA X-NONE
Huhuonline.com understands that as part of measures to block all sources of funding to terrorist group, Boko Haram, the Nigerian Government is planning autonomy for the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, (NFIU), from the Economic and Financial Crimes
By this move, NFIU will be akin to the Financial Action Task Force, FATF of the United States (US) that is empowered to investigate and block all funding sources for terrorists groups across the world.
Consequently, President Goodluck Jonathan is said to have directed the Attorney-General of the Federation, (AGF), and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, to begin the processes of amending existing laws to make the NFIU an independent organ.
A top security source said the move is aimed at crippling Boko Haram ahead of the June deadline promised by Mr. Jonathan for stemming the activities of the terrorist group in the country.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed that security report indicates that recent calls for dialogue between government and the terror group was a design to enable the group reorganise its depleting financial fortune.
The report, it was learnt, also revealed that Boko Haram is currently financially handicapped following the blockage of its foreign sources of funding by FATF; and may have resolved to look inward for funding from local politicians.
The source said "this is why the NFIU needs to be strengthened so as to keep record of every financial contribution or donation to Boko Haram, by those who find the group handy as an opposition tool against the Jonathan's government".
"What we are doing is in line with world best practices. The US took maximum advantage of FATF, to track down all sources of funding to Al-Qeada, from the North Africa and the Middle East, after the bombing of the World Trade Centre. That was how the US was able to block trans border funding to Osama Bin Laden before he was killed. So our plan is not different," the security source noted..
Explaining the measure further, the source said "it was the same agency that the US used to repatriate the lebanese car dealer from Benin Republic to the US for trial over allegation of funding terrorism. So both FATF and NFIU are collaborating to monitor all those suspected to be funding Boko Haram".
The removal of NFIU from the control of EFCC, the source stated is to make it autonomous and independent as much as possible, saying that "when this is done, the unit would be able to make public disclosure of both local and international sources of funding for Boko Haram".
"It is a known fact that you need money to make bombs. In other words, for every terrorists or suicide bombing there must be somebody who provide the funding. When Boko Haram started they were local financiers but when the government turned the heat on them, foreign sources of funding began to come in from north Africa. But right now, through the assistance of the US's FATF, we are closing in on them".
"This is the simple reason why some prominent politicians who are sympathetic to Boko Haram are calling on the government to dialogue with the sect. But if you take a critical look at their commentaries you will know that their calls is just to get money from the government so as to reorganise themselves against the state. This explains why they have refused to come out from their hiding to dialogue with the government. So their lack of visibility has clearly sent wrong signals that they were not ready to dialogue", the sources declared.