The federal government has fingered high profile Nigerians and institutions for financing terrorism in the country.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) disclosed this to State House correspondents on Friday at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, the government is profiling for prosecution, well-placed Nigerians who it said have reasonable grounds to be suspected of being financiers of terrorism in the country.
He affirmed that the arrest of the undisclosed number of suspects followed the recent convictions of some Nigerians for terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Malami said ongoing investigations have given reasonable grounds to prosecute the high-profile Nigerians and institutions across the country.
He said, “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 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 on reasonable grounds for suspicion of terrorism financing have been established, or perhaps have 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. Arriving from the investigation, there exist, 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.”
Asked how many of them have so far been arrested, 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’s 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 its precision, the number as at now because the profiling and investigation are ongoing.”
On what message is the government sending to the financiers of terrorism, he said, “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.”