Exclusive: By Adenike Lucas
Nigeria’s access to a world financial intelligence sharing server has been “completely shut down” due to sabotage by Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, DENISAURUS News can exclusively report.
The Egmont Group a united body of 152 Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) “provides a platform for the secure exchange of expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF),”
The group notes that: “Sharing of financial intelligence is of paramount importance and has become the cornerstone of the international efforts to counter ML/TF.
“This is especially relevant as FIUs are uniquely positioned to cooperate and support national and international efforts to counter terrorist financing and are the trusted gateway for sharing financial information domestically and internationally in accordance with global Anti Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) standards.”
Despite, the server based in Toronto Canada, being crucial in the fight against corruption, the group reportedly decided to disable Nigeria’s access to its server, because Mr Magu was using the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, to provide false evidence. A source at the EFCC said that the anti-graft boss was also “exposing privileged information to those who should not be allowed access.”
The “rejected” anti-graft boss who was strategically appointed to cover up corruption cases for a ruling party chieftain has failed to comply with legal regime framework as required by the Egmont group.
“All effort to get the EFCC to comply has been resisted by Mr Magu,” the source said.
In his desperate bid for confirmation, Mr Magu has used highly sensitive information under the NFIU to blackmail people.
Mr Magu’s EFCC has also failed to share financial intelligence with other law enforcement agencies as required by the international standard agency law.
Though the NFIU has always been under the control of the EFCC, the group has now raised concern that the financial intelligence dissemination is now subject to manipulation and lack of credibility.
Staff told DENISAURUS News that the implication of this cut off would be disastrous to the country. It means that Nigeria will no longer have access to data that would help it investigating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
This newspaper gathered that Mr Magu has warned his staff not to discuss the fact that the server had been disconnected with anyone.
Instead of fixing the issue, Mr Magu is looking to sacrifice Barrister Francis Oka Phillips-Usani, the DG of NFIU by replacing him with a notorious corrupt official, that was mentioned in the famous wiki leak expose on the anti-graft commission.
This corrupt NFIU official, known as Mo, is also involved in various corrupt case. EFCC sources say that it will be an error to put him in charge of the sensitive financial intelligence unit.
‘Magu Is a Liability’
This website has published several report on the level of corruption being perpetuated by the Borno born Deputy Commissioner of Police. This allegations were later confirmed by the Department of State Service, DSS.
In its 14-paragraph confidential report, the Director-General of the DSS said that Mr Magu has failed the integrity test and that if confirmed, he could eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption drive of the administration.
It meant that in March, Mr Magu’s nomination to be the 4th substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC was rejected by the Senate.
This newspaper discovered through members of staff that access to the Egmont Group’s financial server was disconnected following several misuse by the EFCC acting boss.
In an interview with DENISAURUS News, members of staff explained that it was not the first time the country had been disconnected from accessing crucial data from the server.
“It is worthy to note that, the only time the US residence body, Egmont Group, disconnects an FIU member state, is when it has been confirmed that the Head in that country us running a fowl game, with the Financial Intel access granted,” a staff explained to reporters from DENISAURUS News
This was the case when the erstwhile EFCC Chair, Ibrahim Lamorde, made corruption and impunity a “blood running in his vein” at the anti-graft agency.
“Exactly the path Mr Magu has towed in running down the revered name of the EFCC, owing to several complaints by Staff members at the anti-graft agency.”
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwajuren did not respond to a request for comment.