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FALSE! NFIU Is Not Probing Into The Affairs Of Lawan, Gbajabiamila, CJN Tanko & Others

Photo Credit: The Nation 2 mins read

CLAIM: Media reports say the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit is probing Lawan, Gbajabiamila, CJN Tanko Muh’d and others.

FASLE: Although the NFIU denied probing the banks, it did, however, corroborate the existence of the document in a statement- albeit leaked and unauthorised. Nonetheless, the document didn’t mention anybody’s name as alleged by the media reports making the claim false.

Full Text:

Four days ago, Sept. 13, Vanguard, Nairaland, Daily Nigeria, Punch, Guardian and WhatsApp were flooded with reports about a letter. Said document was purported to have been written to banks by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) requesting for the account details of some lawmakers and members of the Judiciary.

According to the letter dated September 10 and signed by the Associate Director, Analysis and Compliance, Fehintola Salisu, the NFIU gave all the banks until September 13 to comply with the directive.

The letter was addressed to all Chief Compliance Officers of the banks.

Viral Letter in Question from WhatsApp message

Who are the NFIU?

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) is a global financial unit that maintains autonomy whilst operating within the African Region. Their operations with respect to combating money laundering and financing terrorism seek to comply with international standards. The NFIU works within the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Nigerian arm of the global financial intelligence Units (FIUs). 

Verification

From our investigations, the NFIU has denied the story alleging it requested bank details of National Assembly (NASS) and Judiciary workers. This is reflected in this news report by Premium Times and the Sun. In the reports, it was revealed that it is well within the NFIU’s jurisdiction to access bank account details for citizens, further adding that investigative and law enforcement agencies rely on them for such information. This same sentiment was expressed by others in some media circles like this one.

“The attention of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), has been drawn to media reports stating that the unit had requested banks to furnish it with the account details of principal officers of the National Assembly and the Judiciary. Such reports are not true…”

NFIU Statement I

Interestingly, in a statement yesterday by the agency, it was revealed that the document was leaked. Also, an internal investigation has been launched to identify and sanction the culprits in a bid to curb recurrence.

“Having been aware that the leaked letter was not subjected to the appropriate level of authorisation before transmission, the NFIU has commenced investigation to unravel the persons and the factors that led to the inadvertent circumvention of our internal process in this isolated case with a view to applying appropriate sanctions as deterrence,” 

NFIU Statement II

Nonetheless, what is clear is that contrary to allegations by media reports , no particular names were mentioned in this document. Hence, it calls to question publications that referenced Lawan, Gbajabiamila, etc. This was probably done consequent on these names belonging to one of the five categories for accounts requested.

CONCLUSION

Although the NFIU denied probing the banks, it did, however, corroborate the existence of said document in a statement- albeit leaked and unauthorised. Nonetheless, the document didn’t mention anybody’s name as alleged by the media reports making the claim false.

Ebere Agozie is a Senior Correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) with a staff strength of about 880, Joined in 2014 as a correspondent. Currently covering Agriculture and Environment beats from the headquarters of the Agency in Abuja. She had covered other beats including Culture and Entertainment, and Science and Technology, with reportage on different themes. Her works were aired on multiple networks through the NAN platform. She is also the winner of the 2018 COORDINATOR'S OPEN FORUM FOR AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY(OFAB) MEDIA AWARD FOR BEST PRINT REPORTER". Prior to joining NAN, she was the Operations Manager, AULIC Nigeria Limited, the concessionaire of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex - 2012; Head, Public Relations and Corporate Affairs, Aulic Nigeria Limited from 2009 to 2012. She rose from the position of the Public Relations Officer to Head of Public Affairs at FABER Expressions, a Radio/Television Production firm – 2000-2009. She is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Institute of Management and Technology(IMT), Enugu, (HND) -1998. And holds a Master of Business Administration(MBA) from the Lagos State University (LASU) - 2007.

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