In a bid to address terrorism in the country, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Department of State Security Services (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), have resolved to cut off the finances of terrorists at a workshop in Abuja.
The participants at the workshop included officers from the DSS, NSA, EFCC, ICPC, Immigration, Customs, Judges, among others.
The director-general of DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, while speaking at closing ceremony of the workshop on Terrorism Financing Risk (TFR) designed for Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and judicial officers at the DSS headquarters in Abuja, on Tuesday, said the cutting off terrorism funding will automatically bring to an end the activities of terrorists in the country.
The director-general further called for collaboration in intelligence gathering and sharing among security agencies in order to tackle the challenges of terrorism financing.
Speaking on the first day of the workshop, Bichi had said, “the ever changing nature and sophistication of threats makes it imperative for security operatives to be critical thinkers in order to fashion out better and efficient ways to tackle threats. Among the evolving global crimes, is money laundering and terrorism financing, which requires the development of a working National Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime for the country.
“It is my hope, that, this workshop will among other things, demonstrate relevant investigative techniques adopted and to be adopted by law enforcement agencies in countering terrorism financing, as well as abilities to identify links between predicate offences and illicit financial activities. While, I concede that the task to combat the illicit flow of funds may be daunting, it is however, not insurmountable. Therefore, we must all join hands with knowledge, commitment and focus to change the tide.”
One of the participants at the workshop, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, said the workshop has helped him understand better intricacies in the handling of cases of terrorism and terrorism financing.
He also appreciated the job and sacrifices of the security agencies in going all out everyday to tackle insecurity and terrorism and ensuring that there is peace in Nigeria, stating that going forward, his experiences and what he has planned from the workshop will come to bear with his job as a Justice of the Federal High Court.
Also, the director of operations, DSS, Joseph Dashwap, while speaking on Nigeria’s efforts to meet the requirements of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, said Nigeria has enacted national legal frameworks to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, namely, “The Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition)Act, 2022; Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022; and Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022. ”
Dashwap also said: “on its part, the DSS, as the premier domestic intelligence agency saddled with the mandate to detect, prevent and investigate threats to national security, is very aware that any effective counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency strategy begins with the recognition that money/logistics are like oxygen to the survival and effectiveness of terrorist organizations.”