By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah |
The federal government has accused some high profile Nigerians and institutions of financing terrorism in the country.
Attorney-general of the federation and minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), stated this yesterday while speaking with State House correspondents at the presidential villa.
Malami said the government was already profiling for prosecution well placed Nigerians who, according to him, have reasonable ground to be suspected of being financiers of terrorism in the country.
He confirmed that the arrest of the undisclosed number of suspects followed the recent convictions of some Nigerians on terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
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He said ongoing investigations had given reasonable ground to prosecute the high profile persons and institutions across the country.
The AGF hinted: “As you 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 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 the 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.”
On 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 that 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 its precision as at now because the profiling and investigation are ongoing.
On the message the government was sending to those in the habit of funding 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.”