The Inter- Governmental Action against Money Laundering in West Africa has pledged support for efforts by the Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Government to ensure the lifting of the suspension of the Nigerain Finacial Intelligence Unit from the Egmont Group in the shortest time possible.
The Director General of GIABA, Adama Coulibaly, made the pledge September 27 when he lead a delegation on a courtesy visit to the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
While commending the EFCC for championing the anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria, Coulibaly said that the agency’s achievements were not only for the country, but for the African continent.
According to him, EFCC was a “key player” to GIABA, and “if this suspension is not lifted early, it is going to have a negative impact not only on Nigeria, but the West African region”.
“We are here to express our support to Nigeria on this noble objective of fighting corruption,” he said, adding that Nigeria will host GIABA’s plenary between November 13 and 19, 2017.
In his remarks, Magu noted that the suspension of the NFIU from the Egmont Group was based on “misinformation,” by those who are hell-bent on handicapping the EFCC, and it is a case of “corruption fighting back”.
According to him, “politicians are behind the NFIU crisis, because they want to destroy the achievements recorded by the EFCC”.
According to him, the frantic move by the Legislature to take the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) out of the EFCC was suspicious, and borne out of an ulterior motive.
“There is a complete misunderstanding about the workings of the NFIU, and it is surprising that the new bill by the legislators pushing for removal of the NFIU from the EFCC was passed in seven days,” he said, adding that it was “a practice that has never happened in any part of the world”.
Magu however stressed that the EFCC was not at loggerheads with the NFIU.
“I have confidence in the management of the NFIU and the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML, and the relationship is very cordial and professional,” he said, stressing that the EFCC was “very much in support of the NFIU’s autonomy”.
He further noted that the African continent should consider the establishment of an association of African Financial Intelligence Units.
Head, Media and Publicity
27 September, 2017