SERAP Invokes FOI, Asks CBN To Provide Information On Alleged Money Laundering To Boko Haram
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has issued a Freedom of Information request to Mr Godwin Emefiele asking him to “urgently provide information about the persons involved in alleged money laundering through the Central Bank of Nigeria to fund the activities of the Boko Haram, which have contributed to the unlawful killings of innocent Nigerians and destruction of property.”
SEAP in a statement signed by Signed Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director, also asked Mr Emefiele to provide “within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter information on the exact nature and duration of any such transactions.”
The organisation threatened “all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.”
In the request dated 15 September 2014 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said that, “Given the involvement of the CBN in this matter and the fact that you are the governor of the bank, we believe that you will be able to use your position and leadership to provide appropriate records and information on what exactly happened.”
“SERAP is concerned about the damaging allegation especially given that the CBN as a regulatory body has a responsibility under the UN Convention against Corruption and other national laws to prevent money laundering in banks, and to ensure that its systems are transparent and accountable to the Nigerian people,” the organization said.
The organization also said that, “It is necessary to provide clarity as to what exactly happened through the CBN if the bank is to continue to play a leadership role in the fight against corruption and money laundering, and to enjoy the public trust and confidence essential for its effectiveness.”
“Providing the information would also help to ensure full accountability for those involved in international crimes, and contribute to the process of providing effective remedies for victims,” the organization added.
According to the organization, “By virtue of Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on any transaction or money laundering activities that may have been carried out through the CBN, and the said information is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution.”
The organization also said that, “By virtue of Section 4 (a) of the FOI Act when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or urgency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within 7 days after the application is received. By Sections 2(3)(d)(V) & (4) of the FOI Act, there is a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing information relating to alleged money laundering through the CBN is widely disseminated and made readily available to members of the public through various means.”
According to the organization, “The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act.
The information requested for, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, bothers on an issue of national interest, public peace and concern, interest of human rights, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability.”
“The disclosure of the information requested will give SERAP and the general public a true picture and a clear understanding of the extent of the involvement of the CBN in any money laundering to Boko Haram,” the organization also said.
It would be recalled that a Perth-based international adviser to Nigeria, Dr. Stephen Davis, who for four months was involved in negotiations on behalf of the federal government with commanders of Boko Haram for the release of over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the sect last April, has named a former top official of the Central Bank of Nigeria among those that have provided funds and other logistics to Boko Haram to commit crimes under international law.
Similarly, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has stressed that information about a suspected financier from the CBN of the Boko Haram was passed to President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, “Stephen Davis also mentioned a Boko Haram financier within the Nigerian Central Bank.
Independently we are able to give backing to that claim, even to the extent of naming the individual.
In the process of our enquiries, we solicited the help of a foreign embassy whose government, we learnt, was actually on the same trail, thanks to its independent investigation into some money laundering that involved the Central.Add a comment
US Air Marshal in 'Quarantine' After Syringe Attack in Nigeria
A federal air marshal is in quarantine in Houston today after being attacked last night by an unknown assailant at the Lagos, Nigeria airport wielding a syringe.
U.S. law enforcement officials told ABC News they were alarmed by the bizarre, unprovoked attack because the assailant was apparently able to inject an unknown substance into the back of one of the air marshal’s arms.
The air marshal was traveling with a team of other marshals when the attack took place in an unsecured area of the airport terminal in Lagos, the officials said.
He was able to board the United Airlines flight to Houston he was scheduled to work and was met early this morning in Houston by FBI agents and health workers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Amid fears the substance could contain some form of the Ebola virus, the air marshal was immediately put into quarantine. The FBI said he was screened "on-scene... out of an abundance of caution."
An FBI spokesperson said, “The victim did not exhibit any signs of illness during the flight and was transported to a hospital upon landing for further testing. None of the testing conducted has indicated a danger to other passengers."
Health experts say most infectious agents would not immediately manifest or make the patient contagious.
While the unknown assailant ran away and could not be located, officials said the other air marshals on the team were able to secure the needle and bring it on the flight for testing in the U.S.
U.S. air marshals travel undercover in plain clothes and it would not be immediately obvious to an attacker that his target was an American law enforcement agent, officials say.
“While there is no immediate intelligence to confirm this was a targeted attack, this is our reminder that international cowards will attempt to take sneaky lethal shots at our honorable men and women abroad,” said Jon Adler, the national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.Add a comment
Adamawa Poll: Ribadu, Seven Others Step Down For 2015
Eight of the fourteen aspirants jostling for the Adamawa State Governorship ticket under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stepped down from the race in the early hours of Friday.
Following the impeachment of the former Governor, Murtala Nyako, October 11 has been fixed for election to get a substantive governor for the state.
After about four hours meeting with the aspirants that started by 9.06 p.m on Thursday and ended around 1.00 a.m on Friday at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Senate President, David Mark along with other officials of the party were able to reach a compromise with the aspirants and pruned down the number of those contesting to six.
The six aspirants still in the race for the party’s ticket on Saturday are Ahmed Gulak, Buba Marwa, Ahmed Modibbo, Dr. Umar Ardo, Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri, and Jerry Kumdisi.
Those who have withdrawn from Saturday primary election include Nuhu Ribadu; Auwal Tukur; Aliyu Idi Hong, Andrawus Sawa; James Barka; Gen. Aliyu Kama; Markus Gundiri and Abubakar Girei.
It was agreed at the closed-door meeting that the six aspirants contesting for the party’s ticket on Saturday will not contest for the position in 2015.
The meeting also agreed that only those stepping down now can contest for the party’s governorship election ticket in 2015, with more consideration in 2015 for Adamawa Central that has never produced a governor. Add a comment
2015: Buhari, Gov Kwankwaso’s Supporters Clash
The battle for the presidential ticket of the All Progressive Congress (APC) is creating tension in Kano State where the supporters of Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and those of former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, have clashed.
The state House of Assembly, dominated by the APC, has broken into two camps, each supporting Kwankwaso and Buhari.
The governor and former Head of State are leading contenders for the APC presidential ticket.
Some members of the assembly, under the aegis of G34, had, late last week, endorsed Kwankwaso for the APC presidential ticket.
But signs that all was not well in the parliament emerged, yesterday, when a member of the group, Yusuf Abdullahi Atta, dissociated himself and some of his other colleagues from the endorsement, declaring support for Buhari.
Kano State Deputy Majority leader, Yusuf Suleiman Babangida, who disclosed the G 34 endorsement of the state governor, on Thursday, declared that the current security situation in the country requires a man with courageous disposition of Kwankwaso to handle. ‘’The security of state and it’s citizens which is the first obligation that the law of the land places upon leadership is deteriorating at all levels due to the collapse of the centre”, the lawmaker said.
Babangida, who played a prominent role in the election that brought Kwankwaso to power in 2011, stated, “We the lawmakers in Kano House of Assembly, 34 of us precisely, hereby propose our leader, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Babangida noted that his group’s conviction emanated from the fact that “Kwankwaso is eligible to occupy the office of the President,’’ saying, ‘’We therefore consider this aspiration as the taste of every progressive mind who has concerns over the state of the nation. “ Add a comment
Australian Negotiator: Politicians Funding Boko Haram
A Perth-based international adviser, Dr. Stephen Davis, who survived months of extreme danger to try to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram, has alleged that one of the primary sources of funding for the terror group is Nigerian politicians.
THISDAY had exclusively reported that one of the key federal government negotiators trying to secure the release of the Chibok girls from the clutches of Boko Haram was Davis.
Davis has worked in Nigeria in the past with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Head of the Church of England, Justin Welby, to negotiate the release of kidnapped oil industry workers in the Niger Delta.
Speaking yesterday in an interview on ABC News, an Australian television station, Davis, 63, said he had realised the only way to stop the kidnappings was to stop the sponsors of Boko Haram.
While Al Qaeda was involved in training Boko Haram recruits, Davis said one of their major sources of funding - aside from raiding banks - was Nigerian politicians.
“That makes it easier in some ways as they can be arrested, but of course the onus of proof is high and many are in opposition, so if the president (Goodluck Jonathan) moves against them, he would be accused of trying to rig the elections due early next year,” he said. Add a comment
Breaking: Enugu State Deputy Governor Impeached
The Deputy Governor of Enugu state, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi has been impeached by the State's House of Assembly. He was impeached today after the House adopted the decision of the 7-man impeachment panel set up by the state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike.
Details of the impeachment session is still sketchy but the deputy governor’s removal is believed to have been masterminded by Governor Sullivan Chime. The Assembly had accused Mr. Onyebuchi of operating a commercial poultry at his official residence and of disobeying Governor Chime, charges that, under the law, do not qualify as impeachment offences. The impeached deputy governor told the impeachment panel set up by the state’s chief judge that Mr. Chime also operated a piggery at the Government House.Add a comment