By Adenike Lucas
The Bill to make the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit independent as required by the Egmont group has been PASSED.
DENISAURUS News exclusively reported in May 2017, Nigeria’s suspension from the Egmont Group, which shares Financial Intelligence with countries which includes UK, US, Afghanistan and Sudan.
The suspension was caused by the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Mustafa Magu.
Then, a source at the EFCC said that the “corrupt” anti-graft boss was exposing privileged information gathered from Nigeria’s Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), to those who should not be allowed access.”
When the report of the suspension was published, Mr Magu claimed the report was “false,” adding that the editor of this newspaper, Adenike Lucas, was working for “paymasters.”
In a statement, the EFCC further stated that DENISAURUS News “was an online portal notorious as the propaganda organ for corrupt elite in Nigeria.”
Mr Magu’s assertions were all proven to be false.
“The NFIU’s suspension and possible expulsion finally alerted the world about the liability the corrupt official posses,” Miss Lucas said.
To reverse the suspension, the NFIU is required to be independent.
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency Bill, 2018, (SB.535) which was passed after both Chamber held a Conference Committee on Tuesday, solves that problem.
The NFIU, previously seen as a department within the EFCC will now run an autonomous operation at the Central Bank.
READ ALSO : COMMENTARY | MAGU IS STILL LYING ABOUT THE NFIU
Today, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki thanked the Members of the Senate, “for the action that they have taken here again in the fight against corruption.”
He said the “suspension from the EGMONT Group has had a lot of ramifications.
“I hope that with this Bill that we have passed today, and this Conference Report, that they will have a second view and re-admit us into the process.”
Senator Saraki also called on the Presidency to act quick by giving the Presidential assent to ensure the bill is passed into law.
“I hope on the part of the Executive, they quickly assent to this Bill and also ensure that the independence of the Financial Unit goes beyond just signing this Bill into law. It is important that we see it being practiced — this is very important.
“I hope on their part, this will be done so that our country stays as part of the EGMONT Group that has a lot of benefits for our fight against corruption.
“I thank you all, my colleagues, for how quickly you responded to this. You came quickly to save the country.”