By Adenike Lucas
The Deputy President of the Senate hopes the American financial group, who suspended Nigeria’s Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, from accessing its server would see the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency autonomous bill passing its third reading at the Senate today, as a serious “step towards fighting corruption in Nigeria.”
“I like to thank all of us for making sure that we passed this bill. This is a step towards fighting corruption in Nigeria. I hope the international community will take us seriously and lift the suspension, says Ike Ekweremadu.
He explained that lawmakers “want to ensure that there is no undue control over the activities of NFIU. What we have done is in consonant with what is done in other parts of the world.”
The NFIU is currently domiciled at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Lawmakers moved a motion to make the NFIU independent following an exclusive expose by DENISAURUS News, on its shut down from the crucial Egmont Group server.
Reporters from this website learned that Mr Magu hid details of the suspension from his supervisory boss, Abubakar Malami, SAN.
The bill passed its final reading days after a Presidential aide complained that the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Mustafa Magu was refusing to take directives from the Attorney-General of Federation on high profile cases. The EFCC has failed to gain the conviction of any politically exposed person under the tenure of Mr Magu.
In the interview with The PUNCH, Okoi Obono-Obla, absolved Malami SAN of any blame for the losses of the high-profile corruption cases as the EFCC had allegedly defied the minister’s directives on the cases.
When DENISAURUS News exclusively broke the news of the NFIU shut down, the EFCC acting chairman, Mr Magu claimed that it was a lie. He said the editor of this news site, Adenike Lucas was a paid sponsor.
But, Miss Lucas “vindicated by” recent admittance of the suspension of the NFIU from the Egmont server has said: ““It is now clear who is lying here. It is Mr Magu! He really is a ‘liability to the anti-corruption fight,’ as the DSS report states.”
In our original report, it was noted that 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 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 source added that Mr Magu 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.
After it is signed into law, the new legislation aims it can meet the condition set by the world financial body, so as to reverse the suspension imposed on Nigeria
Staff of the EFCC who first alerted this news site about the shutdown of the NFIU from the Egmont server have praised lawmakers for passing the bill which will now help to rectify the problem their boss caused.