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Group tasks media on reporting money laundering, terrorist financing

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Group tasks media on reporting money laundering, terrorist financing

Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by Fellow Press

The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) has charged the media in West Africa on effective coverage of money laundering and terrorism financing issues plaguing the region.

Mr Edwin Harris Jr., the Director-General, GIABA, gave the charge at the opening ceremony of the Regional Training Workshop on Investigative Journalism on Economic and Financial Crimes in West Africa in Abuja on Wednesday.

Harris said the media had a role to play in the treatment of general and factual information on crime and in the dissemination of research and studies on the fight against transnational organised crime.

The director-general also said the media, particularly investigative journalists, played a crucial role in uncovering allegations of corruption in the fight against financial and economic crimes.

Moreso, he added, the media should also promote good governance, attract the sustained attention of law enforcement authorities and the public to the fight against financial and economic crimes.

He, however, noted that media, an essential source of detection, remained under-exploited in corruption cases.

“To this end, it stresses the need for closer and more productive collaboration with the media, as you constitute one of the main sources of information and intelligence, both for political decision-makers and for the international information community, both for policy makers and the general public.”

Furthermore, Harris said GIABA, in line with its mandate, had carried out sensitisation programmes for media professionals since 2009.

He also said in 2010 in Abuja, GIABA established a regional network of investigative journalists specialised in the denunciation of economic and financial crimes.

“Furthermore, in line with the GIABA 2023 to 2027 strategic plan developed in the context of the ever-changing global Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) outlook following the revision of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards and methodology, there has been focus on obligation to make regional AML/CFT interventions more effective.

“It aims to contribute to member states’ AML/CFT efforts and strengthen the engagement of non-state actors and critical sectors playing a crucial role in the effective implementation of AML/CFT measures,” he said

The GIABA boss also called on member states to cooperate as the group could not deal with the issues of money laundering and terrorism financing alone.

“Organised crime knows no borders and all nations must cooperate fully to deal with it.

“GIABA alone cannot overcome these problems. Whatever efforts we make at the regional level will have little impact without strong national commitments and institutions.

“We need the support of the various AML/CFT stakeholders, especially the media, to carry out our activities in order to prevent criminals from undermining the stability and integrity of our financial systems and economy in general.”

Also speaking with journalists in an interview, Mr Modibbo Tukur, the Director, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), said the issue of legislation differed across various parts of the region.

Mr Mohammed Ahmed represented the director.

“In Nigeria, the Money Laundering Prohibition and Prevention Act was passed in May 2022, and the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act was passed also in 2022.

“Specifically speaking to Nigeria’s legislative framework, what that has done is it has strengthened the abilities of Nigerian institutions to counter and combat both money laundering and terrorism financing,

“and we are seeing the progress that law has brought about through our collaboration with GIABA, in terms of the assessment it has made to show where we have made progress and seeing parts of our laws that were not strong enough, and helping us to identify where we can make additional improvement.

“This collaboration between GIABA and the countries is very useful in terms of a process of continuous improvement. It is not a journey you can end in a single day.”

The three-day regional training is intended for journalists specialised in economic and financial crimes and investigative journalists from various categories of the media in GIABA member states.

The objective of the training is aimed at creating a platform for interaction with the media on money laundering and terrorism financing issues and on security-related news in the West African region.

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MKO Abiola’s children who couldn’t buy drugs have died in last 30 years

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Some Of My Siblings, MKO Abiola’s Children Who Couldn’t Afford Drugs Have Died In Last 30 Years – Abdulmumuni Abiola Laments

Abdulmumuni Abiola, one of the sons of late Chief MKO Abiola, has berated his elder brother, Kola Abiola, over the alleged mismanagement of their late father’s wealth and throwing the rest of the siblings into abject poverty.

Speaking in a podcast on Mic On with Seun Okinbaloye, Abdulmumuni lamented that Kola had mismanaged their late father’s wealth and sidelined him and other members of the family to the extent that in the last 30 years, some of Abiola’s children had died because they could not afford to buy medicine to treat and take care of themselves.

Asked if he blamed Kola for the manner in which things had gone and whether he believed the legacy of Abiola would have been properly sustained rather than it was now, Mumuni said, “I definitely do because he was in a better position, especially after the whole crisis.”

Speaking further, Abdulmumuni said, “First of all, if he listens to what my father said in the Will and does what he is supposed to do like every other one has done, there wouldn’t be a problem.

“We have lost so much. There are so much properties my father has in this country that we can never get by because people sit on it and they are using it to take care of their own families. The issue is, who is losing?

“It is our money that they used to buy those things. Those properties now cannot be bought with the same amount, with the kind of money that would be spent today. I’m talking about the silo in Lafia Agil in Kwara State – 20,000 metric tonnes Silo with 10,000 hectares of land. How much would be paid for that land now?

“It is so sad that your father was rich to a certain level and you cannot continue from where he stopped. I would like him to explain to me why exactly he has gone with this direction. It is like going down the deadened road and you are seeing the signs but you are still going.

“This is 30 years down the line. It is not like I waited for a year after my father died and started making these accusations. Abiola’s children who could not buy medicine to take care of themselves have died in this 30 years. This is sad and I’m sure my father will not be pleased about it. So, I am not pleased.”

He added, “I wake up in the morning and my phone is inundated with text messages of people who ask for help. How many people can I help? If I want to help somebody, I need to first help myself. It is important we do things the right way.”

Asked if he has spoken with Kola about his grievances, Mumuni said he is talking about the properties in Nigeria only.

He said, “You must understand that I’m talking about their properties in Nigeria only. This is not where Abiola has his wealth. Abiola had those companies in Nigeria just to help Nigerian people.

“They were losing money and they were building money. But he did this (established companies in Nigeria) because he knew they needed something to do so that they don’t pick up guns. He (Abiola) understood that.

“Abiola’s wealth was from outside this country. He was an accountant and when he was the state director of ITT, there was money that owed the company, when he was able to retrieve the money from the military government then, he went back to his masters in England.

“They wanted to offer commission but he asked them to give him shares. So, my father has shares.

“I told brother Kola when I got back that I don’t want to disturb him about the money outside Nigeria. That it is for him, he should do whatever he wants with it. But the ones in Nigeria, we will die there.”

Abdulmumuni said he had taken over Concord Newspaper but “at the time we took it, he took me to Kabiyesi Akiolu’s Palace to tell me why I should leave the place.”

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Accept FG offer above N60,000 as new minimum wage, Opeyemi Bamidele to labour

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The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC
to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

Bamidele urged the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to send a bill to the National Assembly for this purpose.

The Senate Leader has reiterated the need for Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and oneness in their daily activities as the nation journeys through its socio-political trajectory towards the promised land.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Sunday, just as he highlighted some achievements of the administration of President BolaTinubu.

Bamidele said, “The federal government has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”

While identifying with all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele who noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end, emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship being faced by the majority of Nigerians and re-offer them a sense of pride in their home country.

In the spirit of the season, the Senate Leader urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

Bamidele who appealed that the ongoing reengineering efforts of the Tinubu Administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected, said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nigerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

He further urged the Muslim faithful to use the season of Eid el-Kabir to pray for the leaders of the country for divine wisdom and understanding that can match the enormous tasks of leading the country especially at a time when economic realities are not favourable around the world.

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