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NFIU debunks ECOWAS N18bn ISWAP funding allegation

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has disagreed with the 2021 Mutual Assessment Evaluation on Nigeria released by the Economic Community of West African States agency, the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering, alleging that N18 billion ISWAP funds were laundered through Nigeria’s formal financial system, saying the claim was not true.

NFIU in a statement by its Chief Media Analyst, Ahmed Dikko in Abuja, Monday, said that the story is “totally outdated and was based on a 2019 country evaluation report which is literally stale and irrelevant today.”

The organisation further stated that Nigeria’s counter-terrorists financing efforts have practically moved forward since then.

The statement reads in part: “It is to the knowledge of the international community, our populace and the formal media organisations that several arrests were made through the ongoing Operation Service Wide approved by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). The exercise is continuing and far from over.

“In addition, all funding of violence from all sections of the country are being evidently analysed and reported to all relevant authorities according to law.

“It’s true that recently Nigeria fell a victim of illicit financial flows but overt and far-reaching efforts are being executed by government to stem the bad practice.

“The ECOWAS body released its report to justify putting Nigeria Financial System under enhanced review process alongside other countries in the Sahel.”

Continuing, it said: “We had formally faulted the report to the ECOWAS body while agreeing to partner with them to carry out further review processes to jointly attain global best practices on all countermeasures against local and cross border violent crimes disturbing entire West Africa presently.

“All our neighbours have proofs of our exchange of terrorist financial intelligence with the real-time,” the statement said.

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