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FG Will Not Name, Shame Terrorism Financiers – AGF, Lateef Fagbemi

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Flags Off Release Of 4,068 Prisoners
The Federal Government has said it will not name and shame identified financiers of terrorism in the country.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), who disclosed this yesterday in an interview on the sidelines of the 27th Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) Ministerial Committee Meeting in Abuja, had earlier stated that the Federal Government has identified terrorism financiers in the country.

This was even as the government has flagged off the release of 4,068 prisoners in various correctional centres across the country. Fagbemi said the government would not go into name and shame because it may jeopardise further investigation or apprehension of other people involved.

Earlier in his speech, Fagbemi, while commending the good work GIABA is doing in the effort to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa, noted that it is incumbent on member states to provide all the support that is necessary for the group to conduct its work in a more effective and efficient manner.

“As a capable and technically confident organisation, GIABA can and should put before the rest of the global Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism financing (AML/CFT) network, the aspirations and peculiarities of our region.

“I also believe we need to take some time for introspection and an assessment of where we have fallen short. In particular, looking at the effectiveness of our AML/CFT/CPF frameworks, it is clear that across the region there is significant room for improvement,” Fagbemi said.

 

He called on all the member states to recommit themselves to becoming champions for truly effective national AML/CFT/CPF systems; “to become leaders who push our national institutions to perform to the highest of their capabilities; to recognise that the FATF Standards are not punitive measures but tools to help us assure the safety, security and prosperity of our countries, our region, our continent and indeed the global community.”

The Minister of Interior, Mr. Tunji Ojo, who disclosed the release of the inmates in an interview, said the inmates are the non-violent offenders and those that are remanded in prison because they are unable to pay some fines. He said he had earlier promised to raise N585 million through CSR from corporate bodies to help clear the fines.

“We have been able to raise the money and we have been able to offset those fines. That is to show you that when we give our word, we want to keep it,” he said. The minister noted that the correctional centre is transformatory.

“It is a place that is meant to ensure that the fundamental rights of the inmates are protected and that they are rehabilitated to be reintegrated into the society. The target of the judicial system is not just to punish people but also to remodel and rehabilitate them so as to reintegrate them,” Ojo said.

The Director General of GIABA, Mr. Edwin Harris, commended the member states for their commitment to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa.

He, however, said there was a need to improve the effectiveness of their strategies. The low level of effectiveness is a major challenge in our fight against transnational crimes. This is a call to action by all and the need to defer same could be cataclysmic in implementing sound measures that deter and prevent unlawful activities,” Harris said.

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Fagbemi warns against obstructing EFCC from performing its lawful duty

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The Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN has warned against obstructing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from carrying out its lawful duty .

Fagbemi’s warning is contained in a statement in Abuja.

“This is a matter of very grave concern, it is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigations into any matter, regardless of status.

“Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC, but to honourably answer their invitation.

“A situation where public officials who are themselves subject of protection by law enforcement agents will set up a stratagem of obstruction to the civil and commendable efforts of the EFCC to perform its duty is to say the least, insufferably disquieting’’.

He added that running away from the law will not resolve issues at stake but only exacerbate them.

“Nigeria has a vibrant judicial system that is capable of protecting everyone who follows the rule of law in seeking protection.

“I therefore encourage anyone who has been invited by the EFCC or any other agency to immediately toe the path of decency and civility by honouring such invitation instead of embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism.

 

“This can only put our country in bad light before the rest of the world’’.

He said institutions of state should be allowed to function effectively and efficiently.

“I stand for the rule of law and will promptly call EFCC, and indeed any other agency to order when there is an indication of any transgressions of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian by any of the agencies’’.

NAN reports that the EFCC had on Wednesday warned members of the public that it was a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.

Section 38(2)(a(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties. Culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years.

The warning , the EFCC said, became necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC.

On several occasions, the anti graft agency said, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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