The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said on Friday, that ongoing investigations have revealed that many highly placed Nigerians and Businessmen are involved in financing terrorism in the country,
The AGF said that the ‘strongly’ suspected financiers are already being profiled for prosecution.
The Minister of Justice, who disclosed this while fielding questions from State House Reporters, in Abuja, stated that investigations revealing the activities of the suspected terrorism financiers are triggered by a recent conviction of some Nigerians in the United Arab Emirate, UAE, for funding boko haram.
AGF Malami added that the Federal Government embarked on “a wider and far-reaching investigations” into terrorism financing, after the conviction of boko haram financiers in the UAE.
His words: “I am 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 reasonable grounds for suspicion of terrorism financing have been established, or perhaps has been proven to be in existence, in respect of the transactions of certain high-profile individuals and businessmen across the country.
“The investigations are ongoing, but have reached an advanced stage.
“I am happy to report that 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 is indeed initiating processes of prosecuting those high-profile individuals that are found to be financing terrorism. It is indeed true.”
Asked to give the number of persons already arrested for the crime, AGF Malami revealed that the actual number could not be ascertained, until investigations are concluded.
The Minister however, confirmed that “a large number” of suspects are involved.
He added: “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 is a large number, and they are being profiled for prosecution.
“It is indeed a large number, and I am not in a position to give you its precision as at now, because the profiling and investigation are ongoing.
“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.”