From: Cheekless 2011
STAKEHOLDERS DISAGREE WITH EFCC
…SAYS NIGERIA REMAINS DISCONNECTED FROM EGMONT SECURE WEB
Anti Money Laundering/Anti Terrorist Financing Stakeholders in Nigeria have faulted a statement credited to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) suggesting that Nigeria has been reconnected to the Egmont Secure Web (ESW).
Following an investigation, a coalition of Civil Society Organizations, under the aegis of Coalition to Stop Corruption in Nigeria, confirmed that Nigeria remains suspended from the Group’s Secure Web, pending the fulfillment of the Country’s obligations and promises to the international community.
National Coordinator of the group, Mr. Wahab Garuba, who expressed concerns over the development during a chat with our Correspondent, urged the EFCC to desist from further misinforming the populace.
According to him, “the problem is that the Commission is not telling President Jonathan the truth. EFCC must desist from distorting the facts. It must desist from misinforming Nigerians. We have seen the letter in question. Egmont Group neither exonerated the Mobile Police officers posted to the EFCC nor the EFCC and Mr. Ibrahim LARMORDE.
“It must be stated here that Egmont Group disconnected Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) from its secure web since November, 2013 because of non-compliance with international standards and the failure of EFCC to allow the NFIU to operate as an independent and operationally autonomous FIU as required,” he added.
Speaking further, he said the NFIU, as presently structured, lacked operational autonomy, adding that all those that had served as Directors of the NFIU, since its inception, were unceremoniously removed by EFCC under different guises.
“NFIU’s establishment as autonomous Unit has no legal backing. If NFIU has the required autonomy, when did the EFCC Chief of Staff, Mr. Kolawole Oladele become a spokesman of the Nigerian Police or that of the NFIU?” he queried.
Speaking further, he said the NFIU disconnection bordered on how EFCC managed the NFIU without allowing other law enforcement agencies to use intelligence information generated by NFIU to combat terrorism and financial crime.
“Again, if it was not on non-compliance issues, why did the Egmont Group in its latest memo recommend that a compliance review be undertaken on the NFIU in order to find out whether or not it meets the Group’s requirements? Why didn’t the fact-finding team recommend NFIU’s reconnection to the Egmont Secured Web if it has the operational autonomy to function and if the offending fact was on the so called Police invasion of NFIU?” he emphasized.
While disclosing that the EFCC was the only body opposed to the establishment of an operationally independent Financial Intelligence Center for Nigeria, out of over twenty law enforcement agencies, Garuba urged the EFCC to desist from what he described as sponsored media propaganda.
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